World Health Day feature on the Health Entrepreneurship Accelerator Lab at ASU

In honor of World Health Day on April 7, 2021, we highlight one of our initiatives here at the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute — the Health Entrepreneurship Accelerator Lab (HEALab)

Photo taken September 2017.

Founded in 2017 by Dr. Rick Hall, the Health Entrepreneurship Accelerator Lab (HEALab) is an interdisciplinary initiative at Arizona State University between the J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation Institute, Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, College of Health Solutions and New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences on a mission to empower students, faculty, staff and community members to become health innovators who create real solutions to real problems. 

HEALab offers an array of programs to serve health entrepreneurs at any stage. If you have an idea that can improve fields such as wellness, health care or medical services and support, HEALab can support you in turning that idea into reality.

One way you can learn more is through our partnership with the Health Entrepreneurship + Innovation Club. Attending any of the Live @ HEALab events offers hands-on experience to students, faculty, staff and community members in developing their ideas from concept to pitch-ready via workshops focused on topics like how to build a budget or a website. Attendees also hear first-hand stories from inspirational speakers who share their journeys as health care professionals and entrepreneurs. 

HEALab’s signature event is the annual Hacking the Human conference. Each year, the conference explores a new theme. Past themes include “Advancements in Health, Wellness and Longevity” and “Technology’s Impact on Human Connection, Loneliness and Health”. This full-day event provided a one-of-a-kind networking opportunity for students, sponsors, and speakers alike to not only share their work in health care innovation but make valuable connections in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

HEALab continues to embolden students to seek innovative solutions to health care problems through an ongoing partnership with the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation. As part of the Edson College ASU 101 curriculum, HEALab helps train students to solve health­ related problems and prepares them to present their solutions at the end-of-semester Health Innovation Exhibition. In the 2019-2020 academic year, HEALab engaged with approximately 600 first-year students and awarded a total of $1,750 in seed funding to the top three student teams to continue to pursue their proposed solution. 

The Health Innovation Virtual Internship was created in response to the coronavirus pandemic that hit the U.S. in March 2020. With schools and workplaces transitioning into virtual environments and most extracurricular activities canceled, HEALab saw the abundance of free time students were faced with as an opportunity to provide a unique virtual experience in lieu of traditional summer programs. In May 2020, 77 undergraduate and high school students located in 14 different U.S. states and 3 other countries completed the two-week internship consisting of a three-day boot camp, followed by a one-week immersion experience with one of 17 health innovation companies, and concluded with two days of final presentations. Many students were offered the opportunity to continue working with their company beyond the two-week program. The internship is scheduled to be offered again in Summer 2021. 

The Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship Workshop was created to help existing health care professionals such as nurses, doctors and hospital administrators, with ideas to improve health or the delivery of health care access the tools and resources needed to turn their ideas into reality. This two-day virtual event includes networking opportunities with other industry professionals and the option to earn continuing health education credits. 

HEALab also offers personalized mentorship to several early ­stage health innovation startups, many of which originated from students in the Health Entrepreneurship + Innovation Club. Along with our network of industry experts, we guide founders and provide advice on topics such as creating a business plan, customer analysis and product development. 

How to get involved

Want to get involved with HEALab? Check out one of our upcoming events. 

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