Erik Reinertsen     Blog     Tech     Research     Talks

Forge merger with Sling Health


My team and I are excited to announce that Forge has merged with Sling Health (previously IDEA Labs) — a biomedical design and entrepreneurship incubator with chapters in St. Louis, Boston, Philadelphia, Ann Arbor, and New Orleans. Sling Health collaborates with the American Medical Association and many industry and academic sponsors. Forge is now the Atlanta chapter of Sling Health, and has adopted the latter organization’s branding and vision.

Previously, Forge helped digital health startups launch pilots with clinical partners in Atlanta.

In January 2016 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.

  • 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.

Now, we’ve shifted our focus to ideation stage. Sling Health forms teams of medical, engineering, and business students with mentorship from faculty, clinicians, and local entrepreneurs. The goal is to start companies that solve problems in care delivery or clinical medicine.

To help teams do this, Sling Health provides technical, clinical, business, and legal mentorship, initial funding and facilities for prototypes, and legal support. Teams retain 100% of their IP and equity. Since 2014, Sling Health has spent \$80,000 to support 133 students. This effort has yielded 16 provisional patents, 12 companies, and \$3M in follow-on investment. Sling Health also hosts a national demo day every year for teams from all chapters to present to early-stage investors.

Sling Health’s scope also includes medical devices, expanding Forge’s previous focuson digital health. This vertical is well-represented in Atlanta, with St. Jude’s acquisition of CardioMems, preclinical testing facilities at GCMI, and related research at every engineering department at Georgia Tech (which all rank in the top ten nationally).

Most of the Forge team has transitioned to other endeavors. Saumya Venkatesan, a Forge team member and Georgia Tech alumna, will lead the Atlanta chapter of Sling Health.

Sling Health will create opportunities for innovators at Emory and Georgia Tech. In turn, the outstanding technical, clinical, and entrepreneurial talent in Atlanta will contribute to the broader organization. We invite you to visit slinghealth.org and learn how you contribute to the intersection of technology and medicine.