OAKLAND, Calif. – A venture development program from Kaiser Permanente and Village Capital aims to redefine the aging experience by leveraging the work of digital health startups.
The Health: US 2018 program recently named Chicago-based Advocatia and Madison, Wis.-based TCARE as finalists. Each company was awarded $75,000 in investment capital from Village Capital, a Washington, D.C.-based VC firm, as well as exposure to a network of mentors and a relationship with experts at Village Capital.
“We like the idea of trying to find innovators willing to take on a big health issue like aging from a different angle,” said John Vu, vice president of strategy for community health at Kaiser Permanente, an Oakland, Calif.-based integrated managed care consortium which provided support to the Health: US 2018 program.
Advocatia provides tools like a screening platform and text messaging to hospitals to help their uninsured and underinsured patients. TCARE offers an evidence-based, Medicaid-reimbursed care management platform that supports unpaid family caregivers to help them avoid caregiver burnout.
“We were excited to be part of the Health: US 2018 program,” said Laura Robbins, cofounder of Advocatia. “It gives us the ability to align our mission and values, and to continue with our work.”
A total of 10 startups were chosen for the program, each participating in four-day investment workshops to help them develop the lens of an investor, said Vu. The finalists were chosen last month.
“We are honored to have the stamp of approval of Kaiser Permanente behind us,” said Ali Ahmadi, CEO and co-founder of TCARE.
Ahmadi said the capital allows TCARE to continue proving and expanding its platform, as well as double the size of its team within the next six months.
The number of Americans over the age of 65 is expected to double over the next 45 years, with 35 million baby boomers nearing or in retirement, said Vu.
“We need to be thinking in innovative ways and explore whether we are prepared as a society to meet the needs of an aging population,” he said. “This program allows us to look at health more broadly than just medical care and lay out a challenge to the world.”