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Health Technology Rapidly Emerging as Economic Opportunity in Grand Traverse Region

The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation and TCNewTech are partnering for Catalyzing a Health Innovation Ecosystem – a special edition of TCNewTech’s monthly meet-up – on February 5, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the City Opera House.

This event aligns with TCNewTech’s mission to drive technology and entrepreneurship, while additionally focusing on health tech and using leading edge solutions to improve access to care and, ultimately, health outcomes in the region.

The Catalyzing a Health Innovation Ecosystem event will feature keynote speaker Mike Biselli, a Colorado-based pioneer and national expert on health tech ecosystem development and co-founder of Catalyst HTI. Also featured is Scott Cousino, CEO and Co-Founder of myStrength, a Denver based digital behavioral health solutions company. In keeping with TCNewTech tradition, the evening will include a pitch competition between two health tech startups.  

The Community Foundation and TCNewTech are two of a group of local organizations working to build an innovative regional health ecosystem and invest in a local health technology cluster. The group also includes 20Fathoms, Munson Healthcare, and Boomerang Catapult. 

“We envision healthy, resilient, thriving communities,” said David Mengebier, Community Foundation President and CEO. “As part of advancing this vision, we have committed to a strategic priority focused on building communities of health and well-being for all. Growing the health ecosystem, including creating technologies that improve access to care and provide jobs to provide economic growth opportunities for the community, are important components.”

As part of its commitment to health and well-being, the Community Foundation hired Jesse Wolff in 2018 as its Senior Advisor to lead its efforts within the health ecosystem. Wolff has extensive experience in health technology investment and community health programs.

“With Munson Healthcare as an anchor and catalyst, along with a network of regional community clinics, the development and adoption of digital health technology is accelerating quickly,” said Wolff. “Innovative technology can improve health outcomes for patients, improve patient experience, manage costs, and reduce clinician burnout.”

Not only will a growing health tech cluster and its products provide opportunities for even better health in Northwest Michigan, said Wolff, but it also carries the real potential to host and attract a thriving cluster of high-skill, higher paying jobs in our region.

Wolff cites a variety of partnerships in place that comprise the necessary pieces to help make the vision for health technology innovation a reality - including entities like 20Fathoms, which incubates startups and technology.

20Fathoms, our region’s startup hub and technology incubator, aims to cultivate a thriving and connected startup ecosystem in Northern Michigan. Since opening its doors just six months ago, it now hosts 50 members from more than 20 startups, several having moved into the region from cities like San Francisco and Chicago, to grow their businesses in Northern Michigan. 

“As part of our goal to attract world-class talent to the region, we must create a compelling atmosphere in which talent can work. Traverse City is already on top ten lists for lifestyle, culture, natural beauty, safety, and so on. And once we’re on the list of ‘top ten places to work in health technology’, for example, then we'll really be attracting incredible talent,” said Andy Cole, 20Fathoms executive director. “Needless to say, we’re thrilled by the collective pursuit of a collaborative healthtech community with partners such as Munson, the Community Foundation, and others. Working in a shared and coordinated effort dramatically increases the odds for success.”

To learn more about Northern Michigan’s HealthTech Cluster and the organizations leading the effort, the public is invited to attend Catalyzing a Health Innovation Ecosystem – co-hosted by TCNewTech and the Community Foundation. Visit tcnewtech.org to register for the event.

Additional Contacts:

Jesse Wolff, Community Foundation                     231-935-4066,   jwolff@gtrcf.org

Dave Mengebier, Community Foundation             231-935-4066,   dmengebier@gtrcf.org

Andy Cole, 20Fathoms                                          617-981-3597    andy@20Fathoms.org

Matt Roney, TCNewTech                                                                 executivedirector@tcnewtech.org

More about 20Fathoms

20Fathoms works to remove common barriers for startup teams by providing not only an energetic workspace full of high energy entrepreneurs, but also advanced educational programming, helpful business resources, and access to startup capital. 20fathoms.org

More about TCNewTech

TCNewTech is a community of tech enthusiasts, businesses, entrepreneurs, and Michigan policy makers building a culture of innovations, economic growth, and opportunity for local talent in the Traverse City Region. tcnewtech.org


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