Amazon partners with Matter to launch AWS Expand healthcare tech accelerator
The healthcare industry incubator Matter said today it’s partnering with Amazon Web Services Inc. on a new initiative called AWS Expand to help bring startups from Europe, the Middle East and Africa to the U.S. market.
AWS said in a blog post that the partnership was driven by a shared concern around the process of expanding new startups beyond their domestic borders.
Following a series of discussions with Matter and startup founders, AWS came to realize that startups seeking to expand internationally face challenges around a lack of strategy, planning and roadmapping resources, and the need for operational support as they scale their physical presence to new regions. What is most relevant to the AWS Expand initiative, though, is that startups also experience difficulties regarding their go-to-market initiatives, and in identifying and implementing the right technology solutions.
It’s precisely those latter two areas where AWS feels it can help. It already offers a Solutions Architects platform to help startups identify their tech need, and it believes it can provide go-to-market guidance in the healthcare space by combining its investor and partner network with Matter’s industry expertise.
Chicago-based Matter has created a network of industry experts and innovators in the U.S. healthcare sector, including leaders in the pharmaceutical manufacturing, insurance, hospital systems and educator markets. These groups, Matter said, are all keen to engage with promising healthcare and medical tech startups based overseas. In addition, Matter can also provide foreign startups with essential advice on the U.S. regulatory environment.
Through the new initiative, AWS and Matter will advise foreign healthcare startups on strategy, bring them together with potential customers, and help to eliminate many of the traditional barriers to entry in the U.S. marketplace, the companies said.
As part of AWS Expand’s first track, they will welcome 30 healthcare startups based in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to the Matter community as members through a three-month program beginning this summer. As Matter community members, the startups will gain access to its investor and industry networks, strategic connections to potential customers, a mentor clinic made up of more than 350 healthcare industry experts, and a curriculum of over 100 workshops on topics around Federal Drug Administration approval, reimbursement, intellectual property and sales.
Moreover, the second track will identity another eight promising healthcare tech startups to take part in an eight-week long incubator program that’s focused on curating introductions to potential U.S. customers via one-on-one and group sessions. The incubator program will culminate with a “demo day” that will see the cohort present their products to a panel of industry stakeholders.
Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. said the cloud is expanding vertically and that it makes sense for AWS to become a part of this trend. “Choosing an incubator and innovation hub like Matter is a very smart move, as it can serve as a force multiplier,” he said. “It’ll be interesting to see in a few months how many healthcare tech offerings make it to the U.S., and Amazon’s cloud, through this partnership.”
The AWS Expand program will open for applications in July, and is expected to conclude by November.
Matter Chief Executive Steven Collens said the initiative will prove its worth, since the U.S. healthcare industry is vastly different from other markets. “Its nuances and intricacies require a distinct knowledge base,” he added. “Matter is ready to help these startups adopt a new lens that will be critical to their success in the U.S.”
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