Erik Reinertsen     Blog     Tech     Research     Talks

Forge progress and next steps

The following is a repost from the Forge blog.

In January we accepted four digital health startups to Founders Forum (see blog post. This three-month program helped startups launch a clinical or enterprise pilot at Emory or the VA. We also provided $5,000 of grant funding, office space, mentorship, and introductions to enterprise stakeholders. At the end, founders pitched at a demo day.

Here I describe what our startups did and what Forge is doing next.

What did our startups accomplish?

  • We connected founders with physicians and enterprise leaders from Emory Healthcare, Grady Health System, and the Atlanta VA.
  • Our startups now have clinical and operational pilots underway.
  • Moving Analytics and the VA Cardiology Division secured a $50,000 grant from the VA Center for Innovation to fund a pilot for home-based cardiac rehab.
  • Fraudscope recruited a senior Emory faculty member and Forge mentor as a Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer.
  • Emory MBA students helped our founders develop go-to-market strategies, perform market research, and revise pitch decks.
  • Our startups collectively raised $1M+ in seed capital since Founders Forum ended.

What is Forge doing next?

Forge, our partners, and our startups are encouraged by these indicators of early success, although other important metrics will take time to assess. Founders Forum was a pilot too, and we liked the results. Moving forward, the work we did through Founders Forum will be what Forge does as an organization.

Our focus remains on digital health, and the vision remains constant: to help fully committed, technical founders solve unmet needs in healthcare. Forge will still hold events like Salons and Meetups; you may see some of our founder alumni join us as speakers and panelists.

We are evolving our leadership team too. Arash Harzand has stepped up to lead Forge as our CEO, and I am transitioning to an advisory role. To expand our capacity, Forge is hiring a full time Program Manager to lead operations. The team also is creating opportunities for volunteers. Finally, we will grow our network of clinical and technical faculty to serve as study investigators and mentors.

I’m proud of what everyone accomplished, but Atlanta’s digital health ecosystem is still nascent. We must do more to help startups raise capital. We can create educational opportunities for students and clinical trainees. We should promote inclusiveness and diversity. Finally, we need to build a culture of paying it forward, which happens when successful founders invest time and capital in new entrepreneurs.

Founders, clinicians, and volunteers who want to improve healthcare through technology should keep an eye on for ways to get involved. I’m excited to see Forge and our partners put Atlanta on the map for digital health. The best is yet to come!

Erik Reinertsen
Co-founder, Forge

Thanks to Shawna Hagen, Cory Woodyatt, & Arash Harzand for reading drafts of this.