As Birmingham works to cement its growing national reputation as a center for healthcare innovation, a prominent healthcare business accelerator in the city is bringing in a new leader.
Kellie Clark has been appointed managing director of the Prosper Healthtech Accelerator, a program aimed at making Birmingham a mecca for health technology solutions through investments in entrepreneurship, talent and community engagements. Prosper Healthtech Accelerator is a collaboration between venture capital platform gener8tor and the Birmingham region’s growth initiative, Prosper.
“As managing director, Kellie Clark will lead the Prosper Healthtech Accelerator in supporting and nurturing health technology companies with innovative solutions. Her expertise and experience in guiding first-time founders and her commitment to fostering growth in the startup ecosystem make her an ideal fit for this role,” the organizations said in a joint news release.
“We are thrilled to have Kellie on board as the managing director for the Prosper Healthtech Accelerator,” said J.W. Carpenter, president and CEO of Prosper. “Her passion for supporting early-stage companies and her focus on promoting a vibrant and inclusive economy align perfectly with the mission of Prosper. We are confident that under Kellie’s leadership, the accelerator will continue to thrive and make a meaningful impact on the Birmingham community.” The Alabama Power Foundation is among the supporters of Prosper.
Clark brings a broad range of experiences from previous roles, including CEO of Appthink, a platform that supports accelerators in emerging ecosystems with tools and frameworks, and director of programs at Birmingham’s Innovation Depot, where she served as interim managing director of its Velocity Accelerator and spearheaded the creation of Voltage, Innovation Depot’s idea incubation program.
“Birmingham’s reputation as a hub for medical advancements is well-earned,” Clark said. “We have all the variables necessary to become the epicenter for healthtech innovation.
“The most important variable is the investment from our stakeholders, both in the form of capital and by piloting early products that address their deepest pain points or opportunities,” Clark added. “If you have the audacity to believe your team can transform healthcare and you know your customers better than anyone else, then there isn’t a more optimal place to spend 12 weeks of your startup’s life and build.”
Prosper Healthtech Accelerator is a 12-week program that invests in five startups per cohort. The cohort is kept small intentionally, “to ensure meaningful engagement with the program team, network and other resources,” the news release said. Participants receive individualized coaching and access to Prosper and gener8tor’s network of mentors, customers, corporate partners and investors, with opportunities to accelerate revenue growth and secure additional funding through the support of Redhawk, which manages Prosper’s investment fund, and other investor partners.
The 2023 Fall Prosper Healthtech Accelerator program will select its five finalists to take part in the program in conjunction with the gener8tor Healthtech Conference, taking place this week in Birmingham. According to the news release, the companies under consideration for the fall cohort were recruited from across the globe and will compete in “a rigorous application and interview process focused on five key elements: healthcare system impact, team, traction, product/service and market opportunity.”
Of the 15 companies that have taken part in the accelerator to date, five have relocated to Birmingham.
The accelerator is now accepting applications for its spring 2024 accelerator. Prospective startups, mentors and investors interested in getting involved with the Prosper Healthtech Accelerator can sign up to meet with Clark and learn more about the program.