From WhiteBoard to Business

June 17, 2013
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unique ideas and innovation

Next Wave Health’s mantra is that it wants to grow the next big idea in healthcare, even if it only exists on a whiteboard.

unique ideas and innovation

Next Wave Health’s mantra is that it wants to grow the next big idea in healthcare, even if it only exists on a whiteboard.

The newly formed Huntsville, Texas, venture launched Tuesday to provide capital and business wisdom to companies that need assistance turning a big idea into a profitable product or service.

“There’s a lot of change going on in the healthcare industry, and a lot of it is fueled by regulatory and legislative change,” said Ivo Nelson, the brains behind the venture. “I’m focused on companies that are getting started to help the industry through that.”

If that sounds vague, it’s because Nelson doesn’t want to limit anyone’s creativity. He’s a man of big ideas himself: He helped start the healthcare division of Perot Systems (acquired by Dell in 2009) in the late 1980s and later founded Healthlink, a healthcare consulting firm that was acquired by IBM in 2005. Consequently, he served as the leader of IBM’s Global Healthcare Provider business before co-founding another consulting business, Encore Health Resources, in 2009.

He told MedCity News he’ll invest in startups anywhere in the world, in any kind of health technology as long as the idea is big and he feels the team has the ability to turn it into something.

Next Wave serves as a strategic adviser or investor to a few companies already, including Ohio-based Health Care DataWorks and cloud-based search and booking solution provider HealthPost.

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“I would say most of the investments are under $5 million,” Nelson said. “If partners are needed, then we have access to those relationships as well.”

By “we,” Nelson is referring to three other team members who are also resources for startups: Mike Davis, who’s got an impressive resume as a health IT professional, marketing guru Wendy Horn and Emily Evans, who handles administrative, financial and operational needs.

He’s not necessarily calling it an incubator — although it could be, if that’s what the company needs. “Every company is at a different stage,” Nelson said. “In some cases, they just need a strategy and some capital. But if they need to be propped up in some way, we’ve got the resources to be able to do that.”

Companies can apply for funding and assistance here.

[Photo credit: Flickr user jblyberg]