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StartUp Health classes launching to help entrepreneurs

Stephanie Baum

AT&T has announced it will back five companies selected for StartUp Health’s classes which are scheduled to begin next month.

The initiative, billed as an academy of health and wellness entrepreneurs, is launching the first of four classes of 10 next month and will announce the members at the South by Southwest conference.

Unlike an accelerator or incubator, it includes a structured, 12-month program and takes no stake in the startup businesses. Each of the classes will have a theme such as mobile health, mobile diagnostics/devices, behavior change and the quantified self, with class members teamed up with mentors with specialized experience in these areas. Each of the startups accepted to the program gets free tuition.

According to its website, StartUp Health works closely with accelerators and incubators and welcomes graduates from Blueprint Health, Healthbox, Rock Health, TechStars, DreamIt Ventures and YCombinator, among others. The goal of the 10-year initiative is to create a collaborative community of 1,000 entrepreneurs committed to developing solutions that improve the quality and reduce the costs of healthcare. Entrepreneurs applying for selection in the classes are expected to be experienced enough to have at least secured seed stage capital.

The communications company is also making the beta version of the developer center available to developers for hackathons and developer boot camps with several mobile health developer communities and accelerators, such as HIMSS, Rock Health, StartUp Health and Health 2.0, according to a company statement.

Eleanor Chye is executive director of Mobility Healthcare and Pharma, Mobility Product Management, AT&T Business Solutions.

In an e-mailed statement, Chye said the AT&T Developer Center For Health is designed “so that app developers can create interesting and useful new healthcare apps and that enterprise customers looking for ways to implement new, integrated [mobile] health solutions will have an open platform for easy development.”

The five companies AT&T is backing will be selected, in part, based on their ability to make use of AT&T’s open data platform development program, which it is scheduled to unveil at the HIMSS conference next week.

StartUp Health was announced last June by U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra and Organized Wisdom. It is chaired by former Time Warner CEO Jerry Levin, also an investor in Organized Wisdom. Organized Wisdom is led by Unity Stoakes and Steven Krein.

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