A health tech accelerator has launched at UCLA. Called the TechQuity Accelerator and run by UCLA Health, this program is aimed at life science companies with innovations for communities underserved with health care products and services.
Founded in response to health care inequities exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the TechQuity Accelerator is a partnership between UCLA Health Biodesign and BioscienceLA, a Culver City nonprofit innovation catalyst for L.A.’s life science industry. The program cost roughly $900,000 to set up, with the principal source of funding coming from a $750,000 grant award from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s SPRINT Challenge.
TechQuity joins several other such programs serving L.A.’s life science businesses, including Palms-based ScaleHealth, Cedars-Sinai Accelerator in Beverly Grove, another Westwood-based program called MedTech Innovator and KidsX at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
But UCLA Health’s TechQuity’s is aimed at companies that provide products and services for underserved communities.
“Our exclusive focus is on health equity,” said Jennifer McCaney, executive director of UCLA Biodesign and assistant director of the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute.
“Our emphasis is on discovering and supporting innovations that benefit communities where the greatest needs are found, and our ability to leverage existing connections with bioscience industries and partnering organizations throughout the region.”
Late last month, the accelerator announced the inaugural cohort of at least seven companies that will go through a four-month course. Among the companies are Singapore-based Aevice Technologies, which has developed a remote monitoring device for patients with respiratory conditions; San Carlos-based IHP Therapeutics, which is developing a home-based rescue therapy to address systemic gaps in managing pain from sickle cell anemia; and Moorpark-based Telebionix, which makes an artificial intelligence-driven device aimed at improving seniors’ access to care.