Health IT, Startups

eHealth Ventures with Cleveland Clinic score digital health incubator grant in Israel

Stephen Shapiro, the co-founder and CEO of eHealth Ventures, shared the news as part of a discussion about the healthcare investment landscape in Israel at MedCity INVEST this week.

Digital health venture fund eHealth Ventures, in partnership with Cleveland Clinic Innovations and Israeli HMO Maccabi Healthcare, will set up a digital health incubator in Modi’in Illit  in Israel after winning a tender from the Office of the Chief Scientist.  Stephen Shapiro, co-founder and CEO of eHealth Ventures, shared the news in a discussion about the healthcare investment landscape in Israel at MedCity INVEST this week.

Last year, Medtronic and IBM won a grant to set up a digital medicine incubator in Haifa as part of the program. Its group, Health O2, includes includes Pitango Venture Capital and Rambam Hospital.

Johnson & Johnson opened an incubator with OrbiMed and Takeda called FutuRx as did Teva and Philips — Sanara Ventures is expected to launch an incubator soon. Groups of companies and investors compete for tenders that are allotted by the Chief Scientist and only a few are available each year. Each tender lasts eight years.

Incubators are given budgets ranging from $500,000 to $800,000 and 85 percent of that comes from the government through a grant — the rest is financed by the incubators. Each early stage company in the program pays the government 3 percent to 5 percent of royalties from the revenue they generate until the full amount of grant, including interest, is repaid, according to a website for the program. The goal is to make Israeli startups competitive in the U.S. market.

One of eHealth Ventures first investments, Intendu, is raising follow-on funding from eHealth Ventures and Israeli equity crowdfunder business, OurCrowd. The company wants to help people with traumatic brain injury or age-related cognitive decline stimulate the brain through personalized exercises that involve body-controlled adaptive video games.

In an interview last year, Sudow highlighted some of the fund’s investment priorities including remote monitoring, improved diagnostics, and tools that analyze big data.

Shapiro said Cleveland Clinic Innovations would play a role in supporting clinical validation for the companies the incubator will target.

The official launch of eHealth Ventures’ incubator is expected to happen in July.