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Healthcare focused accelerator success in Lafayette, LA

Healthcare focused accelerator success in Lafayette, LA

The 2018 business accelerator program, Accelerate South, hosted 10 innovative healthcare startups from across the US in Lafayette, La. The companies included:

  • Fairway Biomed, from St. Louis, MO, conducts bleeding control in resection surgeries done in the liver, kidney, and lungs.
  • NeuroRescue, from Columbus, OH, produces a prehospital medical device to begin induced hypothermia protocol.
  • Birya Biotech, from Baltimore, MD, is improving the quality of life for those battling severe allergies.
  • F3 Healthcare, from Carrboro, NC, is reducing opioid usage after surgical discharge with patient experience indicators.
  • Hera Health Solutions, from Atlanta, GA, produces a biodegradable long-term drug delivery implant.
  • Cure Global, from Pineville, La, provides telehealth for correctional facilities.
  • Insight Optics, from Atlanta, GA, is a retinal diagnostic platform for primary care physicians.
  • Levisonics, from New Orleans, LA, is a non-contact analysis of blood coagulation and fluid quality control testing.
  • ThinkGenetic, from Boston, MA, provides a cutting-edge genetic diagnostic tool.
  • ExperonHealth, from Lafayette, LA, uses predictive tools to maximize resources throughout healthcare facilities and enhance patient visibility.
The business accelerator program provided all 10 startups with access to capital, business mentorships, custom curricula, subject matter experts, UL Lafayette MBA consultants, and travel and lodging—with the aim of helping these startups drive their business forward. Regional heavyweights within the healthcare industry partnered with the program to provide mentorship and investment opportunities for the selected startups. The healthcare partners for the initiative included LHC Group, Lafayette General Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, Acadian Companies, Louisiana Orthopaedic Specialists, VieMed, The Perret Group, and local angel investors.

The business accelerator resulted in opportunities for many of the startups. Upon completion of Accelerate South, two of the teams received substantial investments from regional partners in the program. One startup secured a beta contract with a Lafayette-based company, while another successfully secured a full contract with a Louisiana-based company.

The New Iberia Research Center has begun conducting research trials with an additional company. Finally, another participating startup secured a clinical trial in Lafayette and is currently applying for an SBIR grant with two local companies, while working alongside the UL Lafayette Department of Nursing.

Funding for the accelerator program was provided by a U.S. Economic Development Administration matching grant which was awarded to Lafayette Economic Development Authority, Community Foundation of Acadiana, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Accelerate South was the second accelerator program run under this grant funding. Accelerate Acadiana, the first iteration of the program, has also produced results for its participants. Kheiron, now called Digital Twin Studios, successfully pivoted its model to focus on virtual reality training.

The program was hosted at the Opportunity Machine, Lafayette’s business incubator and accelerator, where the companies were given a professional and innovative environment to work on their products and services over the 14-week program. The companies were given two opportunities to pitch their ideas as well as meet with the accelerator partners and local business owners from the Lafayette area.