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New Accelerator Marries San Diego’s Strengths in Life Sciences, Software

San Francisco Bay-area accelerator Nex3 will launch a new San Diego program for health care and life sciences software companies.

Nex3 is currently accepting applications for its new digital health accelerator, which will start on Feb. 11.

Daniel Haders, managing director of healthcare tech for Nex3, said Nex3’s board decided to launch the new program in San Diego because of emerging talent in the software space, combined with the area’s reputation as a biotech leader. Nex3 has already invested in several San Diego companies in the space, including NXT Robotics, MedCrypt and Trials.ai.

“We see where San Diego was, where San Diego is, and where San Diego is going. A lot of people have put in a lot of work over the last decade or two to build San Diego up to where it is today,” Haders said. “We believe San Diego is positioned to be one of the leaders, if not the leader in digital health care moving forward because it has all of those fundamentals.”

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Nex3 is looking for companies at the intersection of those two strengths, encompassing a wide array of sectors between software and the life sciences. Some examples include clinical decision support, cybersecurity for health care and connected medical devices. On the pharmaceutical side, Haders said other possible opportunities include the use of AI for drug discovery or to identify patients for clinical trials.

“It’s a natural extension of what we’ve been doing to date,” Haders said. “The companies we invest in, whether in logistics, aerospace or health care, they’re companies developing AI, AR/VR, computer vision, blockchain, and other advanced software technologies. We see that as the future of health care, and frankly almost every industry.”

Currently, Haders is looking to select at least six companies to participate in the program, including a mixture of local companies and ones from across the U.S. The program is semi-remote, meaning companies are expected to fly out for the program kickoff, the halfway point and its demo day at the end. Of course, both local companies and ones travelling from afar will have access to space in Nex3’s La Jolla offices.

Participants in the 16-week program will receive access to Nex3’s facilities, a network of health care and finance advisors, and $25,000 in cash, in exchange for 6 percent of their common stock.

Nex3 is looking for mid- to late-stage companies that have raised funding from angel investors or friends and family. Haders said the program was looking for fully-formed teams, with a CEO, chief technology officer, and perhaps a chief medical officer on staff. The companies should also have a technology ready for commercial deployment.

“We are focused on commercialization and preparing teams for intuitional investment,” Haders said. “We are looking for something that we can help them drive early market traction, that will help them get financing.”

The deadline for companies to apply is Jan. 18. Haders said a second accelerator program was planned for the fall.


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