Unum and MaineHealth have formed ground-breaking partnerships with Venture Hall, an innovation center in Portland, Maine, to attract entrepreneurs and innovators from across the country to create new solutions for the health care industry. The first-of-its-kind partnership for Maine will tackle problems that both organizations see as critical to health care providers.
Through Venture Hall’s highly selective summer accelerator program, both organizations will support entrepreneurs with mentors, business resources and subject matter expertise to help start-up teams make significant, rapid progress toward launching commercially viable products and services.
“We expect this to be a powerful collaboration,” said Jess Knox, co-founder of Venture Hall. “The deep industry insight and global reach that corporate partners like MaineHealth and Unum provide are of critical value to start-ups– not just for the teams who participate in the accelerator program, but for our innovation ecosystem at large.”
Senior leaders in all three organizations worked together to identify common problems that represent important challenges in their industries. The “problem statement” they developed together will drive the recruitment of companies for the 2017 summer accelerator.
“We are very excited about this partnership,” said Mike Simonds, Unum US president and CEO. “We hear from so many of our health care clients that they need innovative solutions to support their employees. We see this partnership with Venture Hall and MaineHealth as an opportunity to explore and support ways to solve those challenges, while also fostering economic growth in Maine.”
“Our joining with Venture Hall and Unum to help grow Maine’s startup and innovation ecosystem is not only critical to MaineHealth, it’s critical to all of Maine,” Bill Caron, CEO of MaineHealth said. “We are excited about the vision for Venture Hall and what it means for the future of MaineHealth and Maine.”
Venture Hall and its partners are seeking early stage companies from across the country to be a part of their first accelerator cohort beginning late June 2017. Companies will spend three months in Portland working through an intense program developed by Venture Hall and its national partner, Village Capital.
A Washington D.C.- based venture development organization, Village Capital supports start-up accelerator programs around the world. “When it comes to developing and launching new products and services, Village Capital’s programs are state-of-the-art,” said Knox. “We are looking forward to applying their evidence-based curriculum and investing methodology, while tapping into their global network of entrepreneurs, innovators and investors.”
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Unum Group (www.unum.com) is a leading provider of financial protection benefits in the United States and the United Kingdom. Its primary businesses are Unum US, Colonial Life, Starmount and Unum UK. Unum’s portfolio includes disability, life, accident, critical illness, dental and vision coverage, which help protect millions of working people and their families in the event of an illness or injury. The company reported revenues of $10.7 billion in 2015, and provided $6.8 billion in benefits.
MaineHealth (www.mainehealth.org ) is a not-for-profit family of leading high-quality providers and other health care organizations working together so their communities are the healthiest in America. MaineHealth is ranked among the nation’s top 100 integrated health care delivery networks.
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Image Courtesy Michael Cannon