C1 Innovation Lab, BCBSTX Team Up With Capital Factory to Spur Innovations in Healthcare

Dallas' C1 Innovation Lab, operated by Health Care Services Corporation (which owns Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas), has entered into a collaboration with early-stage investor Capital Factory to help Texas entrepreneurs explore, address, and pilot solutions that serve BCBSTX members. The end goal is to engage with new technologies and local entrepreneurs on the cutting edge of healthcare innovation.

Emerging Texas entrepreneurs are getting a major boost from two leading local organizations—Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) and Capital Factory—that could spur innovative health and technology solutions serving customers across the state.

Dallas’ C1 Innovation Lab, in partnership with BCBSTX, has entered into a collaboration with Capital Factory to bring the best next-gen services to BCBSTX members, customers, and its community. Together, the companies will work with promising heathcare entrepreneurs in the state to explore, address, and pilot solutions.

Owned by Chicago-based Health Care Services Corporation (HCSC), the nation’s largest customer-owned health insurer, the C1 Innovation Lab is a hub for the incubation and development of new products. HCSC is the operator of Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas; BCBSTX is a division of HCSC.

The North Texas-based lab will house a number of startups through this deal, allowing them to connect with corporate, government, and academic innovators through meetings, roundtables, and innovation summits. It’s led by Summer Wright Collins, who is also BCBSTX’s associate vice president of Design and Innovation.

“This collaboration will provide us opportunities to engage with new technologies and entrepreneurs on the cutting edge of healthcare innovation that can help us guide how we interact with customers at all stages of health,” Wright Collins said in a statement. “By participating in this process, we are seeking to contribute to our growth by creating innovative, competitive market offerings.” 

Headquartered in Richardson, BCBSTX prides itself on being “the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas.” It works with some 80,000 physicians and healthcare practitioners and 500 hospitals across the state, serving more than 5 million members in all 254 counties.

The recently announced collaboration makes BCBSTX the first healthcare plan member to join the Capital Factory Innovation Council, a group that “connects the world’s leading organizations with the most innovative startups and technology in Texas.”

“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas’ membership boldly enhances our already strong health-focused community and empowers Texas startups, investors, and other Innovation Council members to realize more,” Jacques Vroom III, VP of Corporate Strategy at Capital Factory, said in a statement.

From Austin-based Capital Factory, the state’s most active early-stage investor, the council aims to bridge the gap between the largest global organizations and startups in Texas across a range of industries.

Capital Factory is well-known for being “the center of gravity for entrepreneurs in Texas”—from its additional hubs in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, the startup accelerator hosts meetups, classes, and coworking for thousands of entrepreneurs, programmers, and designers. It also introduces founders to potential investors, employees, mentors, and customers.

That’s why joining the Capital Factory Innovation Council is spot-on with the C1 Innovation Lab’s mission.

The space, ultimately, hopes to be a place for forward-thinking solutions to be born—ones that can lower health care costs while improving health outcomes. It’s named after named after the intent to put customers first, and even going beyond that to include them in the problem-solving process. (You can read more about how it came to be here).

With the Capital Factory Innovation Capital, the C1 Innovation Lab aims to bring together businesses, providers, healthcare specialists, customer care representatives, and more.

“In this ever-evolving digital age, it is vital for us to help drive efforts to develop new products and solutions that will improve health outcomes and quality of care across the entire health value chain,” BCBSTX President James Springfield said in a statement. “Startups in Texas are doing important work around coordinated healthcare and the use of technology to solve complex healthcare challenges, and we want to be a part of these innovative efforts.”

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