The second class of the Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator is gearing up for its much-anticipated Demo Day, which serves as a culminating event and is expected to draw a crowd of nearly 2,000 people. Led by Boulder-based Techstars, the Kansas City-based accelerator is now hosting 10 mobile health tech startups from around the world for its three-month, mentor-led program. Startland News caught up with each of the firms to get their thoughts on the program and will release a new part of the series each day ahead of Demo Day, which is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., June 4 at the Kauffman Center.
CEO and founder: Ben Harvatine; Vice president of hardware, Seth Berg
Company bio: Jolt created a Bluetooth sensor that can be worn on a helmet or other headgear to wirelessly alert parents or coaches in the event of a dangerous impact.
Berg on how the accelerator’s changed Jolt …
We’ve certainly made changes to our strategy from a business model standpoint. We always planned to sell directly to parents, but we recognized that selling into and partnering with leagues is going to be critical for us. We also are going to be focusing a lot on mobile and our app.
Berg on the accelerator’s impact …
As a team, I think it really has accelerated our pace. I can’t remember the last day I wasn’t in here working. It’s motivating and I like it, we’re working all the time, it’s exciting. We’re getting things done, and I think that’s been one of the biggest things we’ve taken away.
Berg on Kanas City …
[Relocating] is something we’ve seriously considered, but in the end, we’re going back to Boston. We’ve loved being in Kansas City. It’s been really fun. I guess I just didn’t know anything about Kansas City before coming here, so I went into it not knowing anything. We had a great time. It’s super fun — fun bars, great food.
CEO and founder: Sarah Tulin
Hometown: Tel Aviv, Israel
Company bio: Oxie created a smart, wearable air purifier enabling users to breathe clean air and receive real-time air quality information.
Tulin on the accelerator’s impact …
When they say that you have to get a year’s worth of work done in 3 months, they weren’t joking. We’ve gotten a lot more done than we could have ever expected. We were truly tested as how we can work together as a team and make decisions quickly. We had to constantly be thinking how to work together in a way that streamlines getting things done as fast as possible and taking full advantage of the accelerator program.
Tanin on what’s next…
We plan on potentially keeping a tech team here. We are relocating to LA because the air is really bad there…it’s the perfect place to test our product!
Tanin on Kansas City …
We didn’t anticipate the time zone difference being a problem for our team. We have some tech people back in Israel, so there have been some phone conversations at very odd hours!
CEO and founder: Nadya Nguyen
Company bio: Hidrate built a Bluetooth-enabled water bottle that helps keep one hydrated by reminding the user with a glowing light in the bottle.
Nguyen on the accelerator’s impact …
We are a very early stage company, but the community and mentors took the time to sit down with us and give us feedback and advice. It speaks a lot of how supportive the Kansas City community and Techstars community is.
Nguyen on the biggest lesson from the accelerator …
We learned how to make decisions quickly. It is called an accelerator for a reason. We feel like we were able to take more risks and get out of our comfort zone more through this program.
Nguyen on the opportunity of Demo Day …
We realized how rare of an opportunity the Sprint Accelerator program really is. A Demo Day doesn’t happen a lot in a course of a startup’s life. So, with so many more eyes on us around June 4th, we figured it’d be a great way to officially launch our product.
CEO and founder: Dr. Alexander Börve
Hometown: San Francisco
Company bio: iDoc24 created an app that allows one to take a picture of her skin and send it anonymously to a board certified dermatologist that will answer within hours what your skin ailment could be.
Börve on the accelerator’s impact …
The biggest impact the accelerator has had on our company was networking. We have a lot of possibilities of partnerships with fortune 500 companies as well as local companies, so that’s very exciting.