Initiative Will Attract HealthTech Startups and Corporations from Across the Globe to Northeast Ohio

Cleveland Clinic and JumpStart Inc. have announced a three-year partnership with Silicon Valley’s renowned Plug and Play to create an Accelerator focused on biotech and digital health innovation in downtown Cleveland’s Global Center for Health Innovation.

Announced during Cleveland Clinic’s 2017 Medical Innovation Summit, the trio will work together — with support from Ohio Third Frontier and additional institutions and corporations — to attract dozens of U.S. and international healthcare startups to Cleveland each year.

While Cleveland Clinic and JumpStart are well-known entities in Northeast Ohio’s innovation economy, Plug and Play is a new entrant and widely recognized for being “a global innovation platform” that connects startups to investors and corporations while also directly investing in more than 150 startups each year.

“We are excited to work together to attract large companies, small companies, entrepreneurs, investors and future employees to come together to advance healthcare innovation,” said Brian Donley, M.D., Cleveland Clinic Chief of Staff. “Bringing this activity to our region will help continue the growth of our healthcare-based economy, leading to new treatments for our patients and patients around the world.”

“This collaboration is an incredible example of Cleveland Clinic leveraging its resources and expertise to increase Cleveland’s already formidable reputation for healthcare innovation,” said JumpStart CEO Ray Leach. “We are proud to join with Cleveland Clinic to attract more startups to Ohio while also doing a better job of connecting these firms to local and global corporations who are looking for new innovations to increase their competitiveness.”

Beginning in Spring 2018, the “Plug and Play Cleveland HealthTech Accelerator” will operate two cohort programs annually. The HealthTech Accelerator team will evaluate hundreds of startups from across the globe which are then vetted down to cohorts of at least 10 companies every six months. Cleveland Clinic, JumpStart and all Ohio-based collaborators will also make every effort to encourage participating startups to stay in Cleveland post-graduation.

Regularly noted as one of the most successful accelerators internationally, Plug and Play, headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, has grown to become the largest accelerator program in the world — with operations in 24 other locations across four continents.

The organization’s accelerator program has its roots in the Plug and Play Tech Center — the famous Palo Alto “lucky building” that once housed early tenants such as Google, Danger and PayPal — and has differentiated itself from other accelerators by building a robust network of 200+ corporate partners, whom they connect to accelerator startups directly impacting each partner’s specific industry. Examples of existing Ohio-based corporate Plug and Play partners include well-known names such as Sherwin Williams, Goodyear, Proctor & Gamble, Avery Dennison, Westfield Insurance, Cincinnati Financial, Nationwide and American Greetings.

“We are thrilled to engage Cleveland’s robust health, industrial and investment community to attract the most innovative health startups worldwide to Cleveland. We believe our efforts will accelerate the growth of Cleveland’s entrepreneurial economy through the connections we make between corporations, startups and investors,” said Saeed Amidi, Plug and Play CEO and Founder. “We’ve been very successful in building satellite locations with corporate partners around the world. For example, our activities in Stuttgart with Mercedes, Porsche, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and BASF have resulted in creating over 100 pilot projects. We intend to have a similar impact in Cleveland.”

Plug and Play also maintains strong ties with 200 leading Silicon Valley venture capital partners, who pay close attention to startups in the program when considering future investment opportunities. Meanwhile, the accelerator itself invests anywhere from $25,000 to $500,000 into more than 150 companies each year.

The Cleveland HealthTech Accelerator will initially be joint-funded by Cleveland Clinic and JumpStart along with support from their longtime partner The Ohio Third Frontier. Additional founding partners, including Ohio and outside-of-Ohio healthcare institutions, corporations and foundations focused on innovation and commercialization are also anticipated to join the initiative in the future. Additionally, Cleveland Clinic will collaborate with up to six Plug and Play cohort companies each year to pilot their new healthcare innovations, while JumpStart will help to select companies in each cohort as well as invest in many of the companies participating who have committed to stay in Ohio.

The Cleveland Clinic, JumpStart and Plug and Play chose to operate the accelerator out of the Global Center for Health Innovation to leverage the impressive investment from Cuyahoga County. Also, since BioEnterprise was recently named to lead the implementation of the Global Center for Health Innovation’s strategic plan, the group looks forward to utilizing the expertise of the BioEnterprise team as they work together to incubate and develop companies.

“The addition of Plug and Play to our growing innovation ecosystem is terrific for our County. As we work together to make this region a vibrant and prosperous one, we know that attracting big ideas, innovators and investors is crucial,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “With the addition of Plug and Play to the County’s Global Center for Health Innovation, we have taken another great step towards our goal of robust economic development fueled by innovation.”

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About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 51,000 employees are more than 3,500 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 14,000 nurses, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic’s health system includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 10 regional hospitals, more than 150 northern Ohio outpatient locations – including 18 full-service family health centers and three health and wellness centers – and locations in Weston, Fla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2016, there were 7.1 million outpatient visits, 161,674 hospital admissions and 207,610 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 180 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/ClevelandClinic.

About JumpStart Inc.
JumpStart unlocks the full potential of diverse and ambitious entrepreneurs to economically transform entire communities. For more information, follow @JumpStartInc on Twitter.

About Plug and Play 
Plug and Play is a global innovation platform. We connect startups to corporations and invest in over 150 companies every year.  Since inception in 2006, our programs have expanded worldwide to include a presence in 24 locations globally giving startups the necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley and beyond. With over 6,000 startups and 180 official corporate partners, we have created the ultimate startup ecosystem in many industries. We provide active investments with 200 leading Silicon Valley VCs, and host more than 365 networking events per year. Companies in our community have raised over $6 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Lending Club, PayPal, SoundHound, and Zoosk. For more information, visit www.plugandplaytechcenter.com.

About Cuyahoga County
A little more than a century ago, America was in the throes of the industrial revolution. Cleveland, with more inventors and millionaires than any other city of the same size was its Silicon Valley. Fast forward and the city and Cuyahoga County are once again in the innovation game. It starts with infrastructure — Cuyahoga County, the economic center of Northeast Ohio, is home to world-renowned healthcare facilities and has a booming biotechnology and biomedical industry, with more than 700 companies employing 230,000 people. Just as important is the mindset. Government, philanthropy, businesses, academic institutions are all working together to support the innovation continuum and to continue to strengthen our region with smart, sustainable solutions. Cuyahoga County, Together We Thrive. For more information, visit cuyahogacounty.us and follow @CuyahogaCounty on Twitter.