Cedars Program Attracts Innovators

Cedars Program Attracts Innovators
Global Group: Cedars-Sinai's Accelerator program draws an array of teams.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center welcomed 11 new health technology companies from around the world into its fifth annual Cedars-Sinai Accelerator class, which began June 10.

Local startups joining the three-month program at the Beverly Grove hospital are Santa Monica-based FocusVentures Inc., doing business as FocusMotion; Manhattan Beach-based Notisphere Inc.; and Ampaworks, which is headquartered in Palo Alto but operates an office in Santa Monica.

Other companies participating hail from London; Portland, Ore.; and Minneapolis.

Each startup was chosen for its potential to solve problems in the health care industry. They receive a seed grant of $100,000 per company and access to Cedars’ network of doctors, researchers and investors.

At the end of the program, startups pitch their work to an audience of potential investors and customers.

Ampaworks Chief Executive Bianca Gonzalez, a former surgical nurse, formed her company to develop a small cube that uses image recognition skills to count inventory in a stock room and provide a live feed and count of supplies.

Notisphere was founded by Guillermo Ramas and is developing a software platform to handle recalled medical products that allows suppliers and health care providers to chat with one another.

FocusMotion prioritizes orthopedic patient monitoring and offers a smart knee brace that connects to an app to track recovery and mobility.

Anne Wellington, managing director of the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator, said the program accepts companies from across the globe, but “a quarter to a half in the class are local.”

She added, “We see good representation from L.A., but it’s not a deciding factor.”

Wellington also noted that Los Angeles is fast becoming a major player in the health care technology industry.

“The health care ecosystem in L.A. is really a promising place for health care tech companies because we have great hospitals, universities, and there’s a lot of industry out here in biosciences,” Wellington said. “I do think there’s an ecosystem that can support a lot of health care technology and is emerging and growing as an innovation center for health care.”

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