TMCx has been helping medical device and digital health startups create solid business plans and lasting relationships with Texas Medical Center institutions for five years, and on the accelerator's fifth anniversary, the team announced it's mixing things up a little to better accomplish those goals.
On Nov. 7, TMCx celebrated the conclusion of its ninth cohort, and 16 medical device companies pitched to a crowd at the TMC Innovation Institute. The companies in this cohort, just like the ones before it, were selected based on their technologies that solved a problem using digital health or medical devices. However, previously, the TMC's member institutions weren't directly part of the process until after the cohort was selected.
Based on feedback from alumni, member institutions, corporate partners, and stakeholders, TMCx has redesigned the program so that next year, the accelerator will focus on the specific needs of the needs that the organizations within the TMC have identified.
"Our focus going forward is on our member institutions — the clinics, the hospitals, and our partners who really bring forward these technologies into the future," says Emily Reiser, innovation strategist at the TMC Innovation Institute.
TMCx will become a needs-based accelerator program, Reiser says, and the team at the accelerator will partner with member institutions to run specific cohorts matched to their areas of interests.
The first step will be to identify these areas of interest, then in February of 2020, TMCx will invite a number of companies related to those interests to Houston for two weeks. The TMCx team, member institutions, and other stakeholders will get to interact with the companies and see how they stack up against each other, and to see if they can really fill the needs of the hospitals, clinics, and more.
Finally, after narrowing down the companies, the final startups and entrepreneurs will be invited to participate in a six-month accelerator program that will provide the same resources, connections, and programming that TMCx has always provided to advance the health startups.
Reiser says the TMCx team and all its partners will help identify the missing pieces these companies have and provide solutions, as well as making the right connections to all the right pilot partners, investors, clinical trial experts, and more.
"We'll be here to help them fill those gaps and make sure they have lasting relationships with our clinical partners in the hospitals," Reiser says.