Sprint, Techstars To Launch Mobile Health Accelerator In KC

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse speaks at Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference in 2012. | Photo courtesy of Creative Commons
Dan Hesse | Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Sprint on Tuesday announced the creation of an accelerator for startups that are working with mobile technology to improve health care. The Overland Park, Kan.-based telecom company is partnering with Techstars, a Boulder, Colo.-based startup accelerator, to run the Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator.

Ten startups will participate in an intensive, three-month program that’s set to begin in March, receiving mentorship and up to $120,000 during their time in the accelerator. At the conclusion of the three months, startups will have an opportunity to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalists.

Sprint is supporting the program in hopes of driving innovation at a time the company sees as a transformative period for health care.

“Wireless innovations are helping people around the world by improving health care, empowering people with disabilities and promoting wellness,” Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said in a statement. “Sprint is joining visionary entrepreneurs with experts to mentor them in a program proven to help startups gain traction. We eagerly anticipate the resulting wireless innovations in health care.”

Sprint also cited Kansas City’s growth as a hub for life sciences, animal health and health technology ventures as a big factor in its decision to launch the endeavor.

The accelerator is the latest in a series of moves by Sprint, the third largest wireless carrier in the U.S., to increase its engagement with local technology entrepreneurs and startups in recent months. The company acquired Kansas City-based mobile app developer Handmark and its subsidiary OneLouder in May, announced a partnership with entrepreneurial grooming program Pipeline in June and struck a distribution deal with Kansas City-based startup LocalRuckus in July.

“Kansas City increasingly is gaining recognition on the national level as an emerging entrepreneurial technology center,” Kevin McGinnis, Sprint’s vice president of development, said in a statement. “The Sprint Accelerator will act as a catalyst for growth in this market.”

The accelerator is accepting applicants now through Dec. 6. Finalists will be notified in January.

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