The newly created physical health-focused Techstars program in Fort Worth says it’s seeing applications coming in from companies working in areas spanning human performance to sports medicine ahead of its upcoming application deadline. And it’s looking for more.
The Techstars program, one of 11 around the globe, has an application deadline of May 11 for its 13-week program this fall, where 10 companies will be eligible to receive up to $120,000 in seed funding capital from the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth and Goff Capital, in addition to mentorship and programming.
“Ultimately, we’re looking for solutions that are scalable and sustainable and move forward the field of physical health,” said Trey Bowles, managing director of the Fort Worth program, in an interview with Techstars.
‘Ripe for disruption’
Bowles, who also serves as chairman emeritus of The Dallas Entrepreneur Center, will be joined by Jordan Warnement, who was recently tapped as the Fort Worth accelerator’s program manager. Warnement most recently served as the director of operations at primary care office T Off Your Health and has also worked as a health fitness specialist with MediFit Corporate Services.
Brought together through a public-private partnership between UNT HSC, Goff Capital, the city of Fort Worth, and Tarrant County, the Fort Worth Techstars program will focus on early-stage startups working in areas like rehabilitation and therapy, platform technologies, hardware and devices, performance enhancement, and COVID-19. That also includes ancillary technologies or innovations that improve the effectiveness of any element of the supply chain— such as billing, reimbursements, regulatory approvals, military integration, or other governmental solutions—and more.
“Physical therapy and what we’re calling physical health is an area that’s ripe for disruption. We think it’s a huge industry that just has not been tapped,” Cameron Cushman, assistant VP of Innovation Ecosystems at the UNT HSC, told Dallas Innovates when the program was unveiled in February.
Adding North Texas to a growing network
While Techstars has had a presence in Texas since 2013, when it launched its accelerator program in Austin, the Fort Worth program is its first entrance into North Texas. Since its launch in 2006, Techstars says it has invested in more than 2,900 companies with a combined market cap of more than $179 billion—more than 150 of which have gone through its Austin program and later went on to raise, combined, more than $1 billion.
“We knew that early-stage funding for local startup companies has been lacking in our city, and this effort will not only bring more startup funding to our area, but also will serve as a recruiting mechanism to bring the best and brightest minds in physical medicine and rehabilitation to Fort Worth for the accelerator,” Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker said in a February statement.
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