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December 15, 2022

MaineHealth invests $500K in health-tech residency at Roux Institute

windowglass with sign FILE PHOTO / JIM NEUGER The Roux Institute is the base for a new residency program designed to bring 30 early-stage health-tech companies to Maine.

MaineHealth said it will invest $500,000 in health-tech innovation over the next three years by creating a residency program designed to bring 30 early-stage health-tech companies to Maine.

The “future of health care founder residency” will provide health-tech founding entrepreneurs access to funding, mentorship opportunities and clinical spaces.

The program is a partnership between MaineHealth, the Roux Institute at Northeastern University and Northern Light Health. MaineHealth, headquartered in Portland, is Maine’s largest health care system and Maine's largest private employer. Northern Light Health, headquartered in Brewer, is Maine's second-largest health care system. Roux Institute at Northeastern University is headquartered at 100 Fore St. on Portland’s East End.

When the the program begins March 2023, the founders will receive a $50,000 investment and spend 12 months working at Roux Institute to develop, vet and trial creative solutions to problems facing Maine’s health care industry. 

In addition to a $50,000 investment, residents will have access to curated programming and mentorship from experts and entrepreneurs in the field, free in-house business, design and legal services, over $300,000 in free and discounted services, and a peer community of over 36 Roux portfolio companies that have raised more than $20 million in the past 24 months for growth efforts.

MaineHealth will provide some of the funding and also its health care expertise and access to clinical spaces where founders can trial their ideas. 

It’s expected that MaineHealth patients will benefit from early access to cutting-edge care.

MaineHealth will take a 5% common equity stake in successful companies. The entrepreneurs will continue to own their intellectual properties. If the company conducts research with Roux faculty or any of the partners, the terms of the intellectual property would be dictated by a separate agreement. 

“We are excited to support those looking for tomorrow’s novel solutions to complex problems our care team faces every day,” said Susan Ahern, vice president of innovation at MaineHealth.

The year-long residency is designed to support digital health, health care technology, biotech and clinical innovation founders at the earliest stages of their entrepreneurial journey.

Founders will work at Roux Institute’s innovation hub in Portland and have direct access to Northern Light Health and MaineHealth clinicians for mentorship, expertise, and to serve as testing grounds for their technologies.

The program is different from accelerators, according to the website, in that health care is a specialized sector that requires a tailored approach to company growth. 

“As opposed to a three-month sprint, we provide a full year to ensure the progress you need to grow your venture,” the website says. “We work hand-in-hand with you every day as an extension of your team, along with the in-house business, design and legal services we provide. We integrate deeply with our founding partners in the health care space to give you access to their networks and systems as well as ours.”

For more information, click here.

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