Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has made a concerted effort to invest in health care technology startups in recent years through its business accelerator boot camps, including 10 new companies announced last week.
The hospital’s returns won’t necessarily be in cash, according to officials, but in a wealth of high-tech innovation to improve patient care.
“This isn’t an investment vehicle,” said James Laur, vice president for legal and technology affairs for Cedars-Sinai. “It’s a platform to communicate with entrepreneurs in health care spaces. The return on the investment is immediate: We’re seeing strong patient satisfaction from the use of these technologies.”
The 2-year-old business accelerator – which is a co-production with Boulder, Colo.-based Techstars – provides each participating company with $120,000 in financial backing along with training, mentors, access to world-class doctors and exposure to a worldwide entrepreneurial network.
The investments by Cedars-Sinai and Techstars do have upside if any companies make it big. The $120,00 includes a $20,000 stock purchase for a 6 percent share in each startup; 2 percent goes to Cedars-Sinai and 4 percent to Techstars, hospital officials said.
The remaining $100,000 is dedicated to a follow-up investment in the form of a convertible note. That allows Cedars-Sinai to convert $75,000 to invest in a company’s first capital event, or Series A financing, Laur said. Techstars gets the remaining $25,000 in a note option as well.
Laur, who has overseen investments that have earned the hospital $150 million from 10 years of intellectual property licensing, added that it’s too early to see investment returns from 18 startups that graduated since the accelerator boot camp program launched in 2015.
Participants in its third class include LA-based Aiva Health.
– Dana Bartholomew
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