GE Ventures expands its commitment to med tech startup program

Ruchita Sinha

GE Ventures is dialing up its partnership with global health company StartUp Health, expanding a program that invests in and coaches promising healthcare startups to help them gain footing in the field.

As part of the new program, GE Ventures and StartUp will accept at least 10 new companies, inviting the fledgling entrepreneurs to join the StartUp Health Academy for three years and offering as much as $50,000 in seed money with the opportunity for additional investment further down the line, GE Ventures said in a statement. Participants can draw upon GE Ventures' executives and tech experts for help, and can also use StartUp's coaching and global network of investors and customers to beef up business.

To qualify for the program, companies must be working in certain areas such as virtual health platforms, point solutions and network offerings. For example, companies developing remote monitoring and doctor-to-patient engagement services would be eligible for funding. Startups that apply by Nov. 2 will be considered for this year's program, and companies that have previously applied to or are already in StartUp Health Academy will also be considered, GE Ventures said in a statement.

The expanded program builds on GE and Startup Health's previous initiative, which launched in 2013 and included 15 consumer companies. Startups that initially participated in the program are doing well thus far, Ruchita Sinha, GE Ventures' director of healthcare, said in a statement, with two companies gaining follow-on investments and one striking a deal with a major healthcare company. "We look forward to extending the program to a new group of entrepreneurs, offering them StartUp Health's powerful platform to gain traction, and GE's global network to help them scale," Sinha said.

The new program comes months after GE ($GE) said it would divest most of its GE Capital financial services arm to focus on its strengths in imaging, industrial equipment and venture capital. GE Ventures targets healthcare IT, device and remote patient monitoring outfits, and GE remains "committed to GE Ventures as an integral part of GE's commitment to high growth innovation," the company told FierceMedicalDevices at the time of its divestiture.

- read the statement