BioSTL’s international recruitment arm goes virtual for innovation summit — with focus on a new strategy

By   – Reporter, St. Louis Business Journal

When GlobalSTL, the international recruitment arm of innovation hub BioSTL, kicked off its fourth annual Health Innovation Summit on Wednesday, it looked vastly different from past years.

The summit is being staged virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but that isn’t the only major change. The majority of the startups participating this year hail from the U.S., part of an emerging strategy for GlobalSTL and its corporate partners.

Sixteen companies will participate in the Health Innovation Summit, which includes meetings between St. Louis-area health care organizations and startups that are pitching their technologies. They include firms from Israel, Germany and Sweden, as well as 10 startups based in the U.S.

GlobalSTL launched in 2014 and held its first Health Innovation Summit in 2017. BioSTL said its global recruitment arm has helped bring 19 new international companies to the region, resulting in 219 new jobs locally. Additionally, 30 of the 44 companies that have presented at past summits are seeking or have inked deals with local health care organizations.

Vijay Chauhan, GlobalSTL lead at BioSTL, said the high number of U.S. companies participating in this year’s summit is by design.

“Our local partners said, ‘We want to see U.S. innovation also included in your portfolio.’ We said, ‘Don’t you already have access to it?’ They said you are doing such a great job with this, it’s better than what we’re able to do on our own,” Chauhan said.

Whereas the annual summit has been a one-day event in the past, this year’s iteration will span several days. It started Wednesday morning with a series of virtual panel events and will include 16 individual summits that will take place during the next three weeks and be tailored specifically to each of the St. Louis-area health groups participating. Those local groups in part include Ascension, Centene Corp. and BJC HealthCare, as well as other health systems and health care organizations.

The 16 startups presenting as part of the summits are:

  • Carrot Health (Minneapolis): It has developed a consumer database to measure and predict social determinants of health.
  • Diagnostic Robotics (Israel): The firm has created a diagnostic system, enabled by artificial intelligence and analytics, that seeks to help lower health care costs.
  • Eleos Health (Israel): The startup has developed an augmented therapeutic platform for mental health.
  • GYANT (San Francisco): The company provides what it describes as “digital front door software” for health systems.
  • Kaia Health (Germany): The startup offers digital therapeutics programs for diseases like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and musculoskeletal conditions.
  • Kaizen Health (Chicago): It has created a network of nonemergency medical transportation providers.
  • MedZed (Atlanta): The company’s telehealth platform is designed to provide care to underserved individuals.
  • NuvoAir (Sweden): It provides remote patient monitoring for individuals with lung conditions.
  • Qventus (Mountain View, California): The startup provides technology designed to automate patient flow.
  • RxRevu (Denver): The startup has developed “real-time prescription benefit solutions” aimed at allowing doctors to provide prescriptions at the lowest cost for patients.
  • Stellar Health (New York): The startup has developed a platform it says it designed to help primary care physicians provide “high-quality care through real-time notifications and meaningful incentives.”
  • TailorMed (Israel): It has developed technology designed to help healthcare providers boost their financial perforce and lower the financial burden taken on by patients.
  • Unite Us (New York): The startup has developed a care coordination platform.
  • Verinovum (Tulsa, Oklahoma): Its technology is designed to simplify clinical data.
  • Veta Health (New York): The startup develops protocols to help organizations with outpatient care management.
  • Wellth (New York): The digital health company combines technology and behavioral economics to help patients form and sustain health habits.

This year’s summit comes as BioSTL plans to expand its GlobalSTL arm. It is currently hiring for two business development roles, positions that Chauhan said will allow the organization to help shepherd more ambitious partnerships between startups and local firms. He also said the additional staff will allow it to expand upon its efforts with U.S.-based startups.

“Now, we’re going to be able to really go after top U.S. innovation and see if we can make a case of recruiting those guys to our region,” he said.

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