Co.Lab facilities in the Edney Building are hosting eight startup companies for the next 10 weeks for the first HealthTech Accelerator, jointly sponsored by the Company Lab, Unum and Erlanger Health System.

This story was updated Thursday, April 4, 2019, at 6:21 p.m. with more information.

Eight startup companies from as far as Utah and New York have come to Chattanooga for the next couple of months to develop their business ideas in the first HealthTech Accelerator jointly sponsored by The Company Lab, Erlanger Health System and Unum.

Entrepreneurs began meeting this week to develop their business plans and solutions tied to the healthcare and benefits industries, which range from medical devices to compliant communication and back-of-office tools.

"Over the next 10 weeks we have the opportunity to help companies make significant progress through developing corporate relationships and potential partners," said Marcus Shaw, chief executive officer of the Company Lab, the entrepreneurial training and support group formed in 2010 out of the former CreateHere. "We believe this experience will be game changing for these companies' business development efforts."

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Co.Lab President Marcus Shaw addresses participants in the HealthTech Accelerator program that began this week with entrepreneurs from across the country.

At the hub of the Innovation District in the Edney Building, Co.Lab pioneered the GigTank, 48-hour launch and a variety of other business accelerator programs over the past nine years. The HealthTech accelerator is the first for Co.Lab focused on the health care industry and the first to be supported directly by other businesses.

Unum and Erlanger employees will serve as mentors, offering their industry expertise, insight and connections. Unum is the world's biggest disability insurance company and Erlanger is the nation's 10th-largest public healthcare system.

"Our team at Erlanger Health System is energized about the ventures that will be coming forward from this inaugural HealthTech Accelerator cohort and the subsequent cohorts,"said Matt Gibson, Erlanger's chief strategy officer.

Ted Reed, vice president of business development for Unum, said he hopes the accelerator program "will offer real solutions to industry problems, establish ongoing and collaborative business relationships, and create opportunities for talented candidates."

The participating businesses chosen to participate in the 10-week program include:

» Canopy Innovations is an e-learning language platform from New York City designed to help hospitals and community clinics eliminate the language barrier in healthcare by 2030.

» Healing Innovations is a medical device company in Nashville that created the Rise&Walk , a patented gait training device that provides efficient and affordable walking therapy to paralyzed or physically impaired patients.

» KelCor is a local medical device start-up developing simple, efficient, and cost-effective product solutions to improve infection control and patient care.

» Medical Search Technologies is a Chicago software company creating searchable data from unstructured text, such as radiology reports and patient progress notes, to manage compliance and identify care pathways for complex medical conditions.

» MedX Services is an Ooltewah medicine management company that is dedicated to improving medication adherence and reducing the costs associated with non-adherence.

» Pretel is a local company developing wearable biosensors, proprietary regional uterine physiologic signal detection software, and personalized labor progress status algorithms to reduce preterm birth and the costly poor outcomes of induction delivery.

» Rhinogram is a Telehealth solution business in Chattanooga that removes patient-provider communication barriers via texting and increases provider efficiency by reducing staffing costs, enabling reimbursable virtual consults, and leading to new patient acquisition.

» VendRx, Inc., which was started in South Jordan, Utah, is an automated prescription dispensing system designed to be located at the point of convenience so as to increase patient adherence and reduce healthcare costs.

Jennifer Skjellum, a program director for the accelerator program at Co.Lab., said the participants include both early stage companies and businesses that are already generating revenue and want to scale up their operations.

"All of these businesses share in the opportunity to benefit from the relationships with Erlanger and Unum and each will be working with their mentors, other team and the the Co.Lab staff to develop their businesses," she said.

The HealthTech Accelerator launched Tuesday and runs through June 5 when the program will end with a Demo Day when each of the participants will pitch their business plans to prospective investors and customers.

Contact Dave Flessner at or at 757-6340.