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Interested in learning more about opportunities in digital health? HealthBeat, VentureBeat’s health conference takes place on May 20 and 21.

The Iron Yard has launched the Southeast’s first digital health accelerator, proving that innovation shouldn’t be confined to Silicon Valley.

The Iron Yard’s tech collective was formed by a group of locals in the small city of Greenville, South Carolina. The original idea was to inspire networking among like-minded folk, but the Iron Yard quickly spiralled into a tech accelerator, a coding academy for kids, and a coworking space.

And now, the founders are asking entrepreneurs to fix some of the biggest flaws with our current health system.


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ironyard2Entrepreneurs enrolled in the accelerator will receive $20,000 in seed capital funding, three months of mentorship and training, a full year of free coworking space in Spartanburg, S.C., and the opportunity to demo their product at the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco.

Given the complexities of the space (founders will need to ensure their product is HIPPA compliant, for instance), the accelerator will provide free legal consultations.

The accelerator is looking for a wide range of ideas — fitness apps, web-based electronic medical records, “big data” analysis tools to name a few — but the program does not support medical devices at this stage, Iron Yard managing director Peter Barth said in an interview.

In the last five years, health accelerators have popped up around the country, and venture funding has drastically increased. In order to compete with established programs like HealthBox and RockHealth, the accelerator has signed up brand-name partners and mentors from JM SmithMayo ClinicAbbVie (Abbott Labs)Zebra Technologies, and BMW.

For entrepreneurs who crave small town living and a break from Silicon Valley, The Iron Yard may be the best bet. “We want everyone to have the opportunity and ability to have an effect on the digital world and an effect on society,” said cofounder Eric Dodds in a recent interview.

The three-month digital health program begins on July 15. Click here to apply and learn more.

Images courtesy of the Iron Yard

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