Middle Tennessee’s newest startup incubator isn’t housed in a trendy East Nashville coworking hub.
It’s embedded inside the Brentwood headquarters of one of Nashville’s largest hospital operators, and it’s designed to take startups from “zero to 50 pretty quick.”
“LifePoint has a lot of core competencies. We know how to operate hospitals. … One of the things we don’t know how to do is start companies, but we do know where the problems are [in health care],” LifePoint Health President and CEO David Dill said. “Bringing together 25madison … coupled with our [hospital] operators to form 25m Health is going to be tailor suited to listen to problems and build companies we can scale. … If we are tailor designing the solution by listening to our people, then I know we can scale it to not just one hospital, and perhaps not to just 10, but maybe even up to 60 or 70 [hospitals].”
Last month, LifePoint Health announced it had inked a partnership with venture studio 25madison and private equity firm Apollo Global Management (NYSE: APO) to launch a new health-tech incubator in Nashville. The incubator, called 25m Health, will initially be seeded with $20 million and will build new companies with innovative ideas aimed at improving care and lowering costs for LifePoint.
In a recent interview, 25madison co-founder and CEO Steven Price said the incubator will be located inside LifePoint’s headquarters and will be redesigned for a “venture studio look and feel,” with a ping-pong table and couches. He said they are currently building 25m Health’s team of five to 10 people, which will be supplemented by advisors, and will grow as businesses are created. Price said the incubator will likely build one to three businesses a year, which is why it was key for it be located in Middle Tennessee.
“If we’re going to build businesses, we are going to need to hire hundreds of people,” Price said. “When David suggested that Nashville was the right place for this, our initial thought was ‘Yes’ but we wanted to do some work. We talked to people and did some research to make sure there’s a talent pool of engineers, product people, marketing people, business development people that are either in Nashville or can get recruited into Nashville so that we can scale the companies that we have the ambition to go build.
There aren’t an unlimited number of places you can go do that. You can do it in Silicon Valley. You can do it in New York. You can probably do it in Austin. You can do it in Boston. You can do it in Nashville. The list gets a lot narrower [after that].” Dill said 25m Health will allow LifePoint to make some mistakes a long the way in implementing new ideas but ultimately will be more efficient because no longer will solutions be brought to the hospital floor that may not fit. “I think it’s going to be exciting for our company,” Dill said. “Think about a company that comes here to visit me from the West Coast and says, ‘We have this solution,’ and I go tell our operators, ‘I signed this agreement. Now, go implement it.’
Now, think about how we just changed the story and Steven’s team is going to listen to our operators and then build solutions needed by them. All the energy that creates … is what we all need. I’m excited to see where this goes over the next several years.”