Sprint announces Kansas City accelerator powered by Techstars
Telecom giant Sprint this morning announced it is seeking early-stage mobile technologies companies from across the country for its Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator, powered by Techstars, to open in its hometown of Kansas City. Sprint recently has become more active in the Silicon Prairie startup comunity, acquiring local app developer Handmark, partnering with Local Ruckus and engaging as a corporate partner with Pipeline.
"Wireless innovations are helping people around the world by improving health care, empowering people with disabilities and promoting wellness," said Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint, in a press release. "Sprint is joining visionary entrepreneurs with experts to mentor them in a program proven to help startups gain traction. We eagerly anticipate the resulting wireless innovations in health care."
Ten companies will be selected to participate in a three-month intensive mentorship program starting in March 2014 and can receive up to $120,000 in combined seed funding. The accelerator will provide guidance during the course of the program, then allow participants a chance to pitch investors and venture capitalists. It will try to add to Kansas City's growing status a life sciences hub—home of the Animal Health Corridor—that has established hundreds of companies in the pharmaceutical, animal health, crop science and medical technology industries.
"To me, Kansas City is an obvious place that has an up-and-coming tech community to rival other top geographies," said David Cohen, founder and CEO of Techstars, said in the release. "The presence of leaders in the mobile health care space makes this the perfect home for the accelerator. We have been watching Kansas City from afar, seeing it come together, and now we're excited to join. It's great to see Sprint giving first through their tremendous network of resources and executive knowledge. It makes all the difference for the companies we fund through the program."
Entrepreneurs can apply now through Dec. 6 at the Sprint Accelerator site. Finalists will be notified in early January 2014 and the three-month program is slated to begin in March.
Check back to Silicon Prairie News later today for more in-depth coverage on what the Accelerator means for the region.
Credits: Screenshot from the Sprint Accelerator site.