Cambia Grove hosts Startup Day Seattle in partnership with US Health and Human Services

At the end of June, Cambia Grove hosted Startup Day Seattle, part of a multi-city tour to bring the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to local health care entrepreneurs.

“We have such incredible talent here and across the Pacific Northwest focused on health care innovation and we’ve only just scratched the surface,” said Maura Little, executive director of Cambia Grove. “Federal agencies offer an abundance of resources to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses, but we know that entrepreneurs often find it difficult to connect with federal officials.

The goal of Startup Day was to make those resources easier to access and help entrepreneurs better understand government priorities, policies and visions. The energy that day from both attendees and guest speakers was electric. Entrepreneurs were encouraged by the abundance of information and programs available to them and federal officials were blown away by all the innovation happening outside the beltway. Connecting entrepreneurs to resources is a huge part of our mission at Cambia Grove. We were thrilled to have this opportunity to support entrepreneurs and help bring those resources to light.”

Attendees heard presentations from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Small Business Administration, and the HHS IDEA Lab about the resources available to entrepreneurs as they work to transform the health care system.

Ed Simcox, the Chief Technology Officer at HHS explained in his remarks how the goal of the Startup Days is to make HHS more accessible to help drive innovation forward.

“It was very striking to us that people thought that they had to hire a lobbyist or put somebody on retainer to make a few phone calls to set up a meeting to be able to see us. That didn’t make sense to us…

We think that there is a huge potential to really stimulate innovation by working with folks in industry, working with startups. So not only do we want to get ride of the opaque, Byzantine aspects of HHS and drop the barriers and give you all access to various parts of HHS that you need access to, but we also see a huge potential to grab folks from industry and have you inform us about what we do right and wrong.”

The day ended with a live pitch competition to determine the winner for the inaugural Cambia Grove TRAILS Competition, which selected a startup to work with UW Medicine’s Primary Care Innovation Lab.

The five finalists were:

  • CareCognitics, a digital health company with a focus on improving quality of care for people with chronic conditions using data science and patient engagement.
  • LiteSprite, a game platform that helps patients manage and mitigate the effects of behavioral health, cancer, and diabetes.
  • MedsforAll, a company seeking to provide rescue drug autoinjectors, beginning with epinephrine, to all.
  • Omic, a cloud-based bioinformatics and data management platform for whole genome, sequencing, cancer panels, hereditary panels, and more.
  • Twistle, a secure messaging platform for providers, patients, payers, delivering personalized content in the form of secure text messages, simple questionnaires, video tutorials, and more.

Litesprite was selected as the winner, and will receive real-world access and testing from the Primary Care Innovation Lab.