The Health Haven Hub — a new technological hub for health care innovation — is slated to open next month at 195 Church St. near the New Haven Green, providing a space for a variety of health-based entrepreneurial organizations to collaborate on projects and enhance the city’s entrepreneurial culture.
The hub will be part of the Elm City Innovation Collaborative — a program that seeks to promote entrepreneurship by facilitating problem solving and the exchange of ideas. The Elm City collaborative won grant money in 2017 from CTNext, Connecticut’s investment firm and a public-private subsidiary of Connecticut Innovations.
The Health Haven Hub will provide a location for Muthu’s HealthVenture Labs organization, a digital health startup incubator co-founded by CEO Sri Muthu SOM ’16 and Donna Lecky SOM ’16. In addition, the hub will house an expansion to Bridge Innovations, an incubator for medical device innovations, and Origami Innovations, a project created and run by students at the Yale School of Medicine in an effort to support digital health innovations.
“It makes no sense in a small town like New Haven for us all to be separate,” Muthu said. “It would make more sense for us to collaborate, for us to come together to create a center of gravity, a center of excellence, a hub if you will where all these health care innovations [exist].”
Muthu compared the new hub to Yale’s Center of Engineering, Innovation and Design, noting that a common space to cultivate new ideas can create an “ecosystem” to help health care succeed in New Haven.
The hub will also bring together students from health care entrepreneurial organizations at Yale and other colleges, providing them with a convenient “Silicon Valley style” startup space, Muthu said.
Elinor Slomba, the innovation manager at Elm City Innovation Collaborative, said New Haven is one of the best places for the CTNext entrepreneurial funding because of the city’s talent and wide variety of organizations.
“CTNext was recognizing the fact that New Haven has a great deal of vibrancy in several sectors but concentrated in biotech,” Slomba told the News.
Of the three medical schools in Connecticut, two are in the Elm City — making it the “center of gravity” for entrepreneurship, Muthu noted.
Slomba said the new hub will allow students finishing at Yale, or other local universities, to visit a community that can not only offer feedback on entrepreneurial ideas, but also “have your back.” Slomba emphasized the variety of startups in New Haven, noting that there are some “great success stories.”
“In terms of a hub I think of it more as a charm bracelet where there are a lot of different valuable gems sort of strung together in New Haven,” Slomba said.
Muthu added that the resources for entrepreneurship in Yale are endless, pointing to entrepreneurship classes at the School of Management as well as Tsai City Innovation Center.
The Elm City Innovation Collaborative will hold its first demo night on March 6 at BAR New Haven.
Ashna Gupta | firstname.lastname@example.org