Crowdfunding debuts for healthcare with MedStartr (US)

MedStartr, previewed at late May’s Health 2.0 NYC Healthcare Kickstarter, officially launched on 11 July. MedStartr uses crowdfunding, popularized by Kickstarter and similar websites, to direct funding to select healthcare startups. Since Kickstarter specifically prohibits healthcare startups from the site (although Mobihealthnews reveals that Pebble and SkyLight sneaked in), there was a large ‘sweet spot’ for a healthcare crowdfunding site. For those not familiar with the process, companies set a funding goal on the website and tell their stories. A counter indicates contributions, percent to goal and days left. Contributors receive gifts, incentive deals, rewards and early access to products in return in lieu of equity. Cost? A percentage of funds to MedStartr only when fundraising efforts succeed. Initial startups on board include Avado (patient engagement), Endogoddess (diabetes management) and FMD Chat (rare diseases). Alex Fair of FairCare and Mike Pence of Kickstarter’s original development team are helming. The rewards can be surprising–Pebble rounded up $10 million. Crowdfunding in future may offer equity under the Federal JOBS bill, although this awaits SEC review. Release