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1501 Health graduates first cohort of innovators

1501 Health, an incubator for health care startups, graduated its first cohort of participants May 17 as the companties take the lessons from their intensive, accelerated year of business development, networking and mentorship and pitch their innovative solutions to investors.

The incubator was launched last year by Healthworx, the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, and LifeBridge Health. The 1501 Health name comes from the address of CareFirst’s Baltimore headquarters (1501 S. Clinton St.) where 1501 Health collaborative space for participants.

In 2021,1501 Health selected five companies from a pool of more than 120 applicants that demonstrated the most potential and promise for improving health outcomes and the patient experience and who could benefit from the unique payer-provider expertise of the program.

The graduating cohort includes two Maryland and three California-based companies.  Over the past year at 1501 Health, these companies have expanded their products, customers, and funding. Now, the cohort is ready to talk to other investors and partners to further evolve their work.

The cohort consisted of: 

Even Health of Annapolis has created Cabana, the first digital counseling platform offering anonymous group support for health care workers and facilitated by licensed professionals accessible from desktop, smartphone or virtual reality device. Their product entered 1501 Health’s accelerant program at a time of critical need. The company offered the free service to its first customers — 13,000 employees from LifeBridge Health — who are giving it positive reviews and feedback.

Baltimore-based Live Chair Health recruits hair professionals and employs digital tools to initiate and facilitate client discussions about chronic health issues that disproportionately affect minority communities. This past year the founders partnered with LifeBridge Health to provide vaccines and build a culture of trust in west Baltimore.

BabyLiveAdvice of Calabasas, California enables providers to provide tech-forward, collaborative remote education, monitoring and support to expectant mothers and new parents. 1501 Health helped this product move into its first local market, in collaboration with LifeBridge Health.

San Francisco’s Pair Team created the first end-to-end provider enablement solution for Medicaid, providing wraparound technology, care team and electronic medical record (EMR)-embedded support tools to coordinate patient care and automate value-based care operations. Pair Team used its 1501 Health experience to leap ahead toward value-based care in Medicaid.

WellSet of Los Angeles uses a centralized platform to connect the holistic wellness industry. Users can find and book individual and group sessions with specialists including acupuncture, health coaching, holistic therapy, ayurveda and more. WellSet accomplished all its goals in 1501 Health, producing an integrative product and scaling it for success.

For the past year, the mostly-virtual program provided participants with investment and mentorship. As 1501 Health continues to evolve in 2022, the program will offer co-working and collaborative spaces and a medical simulation lab.

At the May 17 event, the graduating cohort members pitched their ideas and business plans to local and national venture capital firms, CEOs and executive leadership from CareFirst, Healthworx and LifeBridge Health, advisers to cohort companies and local startup ecosystem members. This external engagement builds on the work that payer and provider mentors have provided the cohort over the past year.

The companies in the first cohort and their advisers also welcomed 1501 Health’s sophomore class, a group that was selected from 112 international applicants. This group consists of seven companies, six of which are women-owned.

To submit photos for an upcoming Business Album, email Assistant Editor Sean Wallace at swallace@TheDailyRecord.com.

Andrew Suggs, seated, left, the founder and CEO of Live Chair Health, and Steve McGovern, director of data analytics for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, have a conversation with Eddwina Bright, co-founder and chief product officer of Health In Her HUE. (Photo by Whitney Wasson Photography)

From left, David Black, co-founder and CEO of Even Health, and Heather Townsend, co-founder and chief operating officer of Even Health; accept their award for finishing the 1501 Health incubator from Jordan Evans, 1501 Health’s co-manager and innovation project manager at LifeBridge Health. (Photo by Whitney Wasson Photography)

Jordan Evans, left, 1501 Health co-manager and innovation project manager at LifeBridge Health, shakes hands with Sigi Marmorstein, founder and CEO of BabyLiveAdvice. (Photo by Whitney Wasson Photography)

Tegan Bukowski, center, co-founder and CEO of WellSet, networks with Mallory Kusterer, right, director of specialty product innovation for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and another event guest. (Photo by Whitney Wasson Photography)

Dan Blum, president of Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and Grace Medical Center and senior vice president of LifeBridge Health, test drives Flowly’s virtual reality experiences designed to help users manage pain and anxiety through VR as an alternative to medication. Backed by NIH clinical trial data, Flowly uses an integrative medicine approach to care using VR technology at home. (Photo by Whitney Wasson Photography)

From left, David Black, co-founder and CEO of Even Health; Emily Durfee, 1501 Health co-manager and director of Healthworx strategy and portfolio acceleration; and Scott Kirk, a consultant in strategy and planning for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, enjoy a conversation. (Photo by Whitney Wasson Photography)

From left, Neil Meltzer, president and CEO of LifeBridge Health; Brian D. Pieninck, president and CEO at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield; and Dan Blum, president of Sinai Hospital of Baltimore & Grace Medical Center & SVP of LifeBridge Health. (Photo by Whitney Wasson Photography)

Brian D. Pieninck, president and CEO at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, addresses the crowd at the 1501 Health incubator cohort graduation event. (Photo by Whitney Wasson Photography)

Andrew Suggs, founder and CEO of Live Chair Health, speaks to the audience at the 1501 Health incubator cohort graduation event. (Photo by Whitney Wasson Photography)

Five select startups took home individualized trophies for completing the inaugural 1501 Health incubator, created by Healthworx and LifeBridge Health. (Photo by Whitney Wasson Photography)