Program Launch: June 22


The mission of CO.LAB’s HealthTech Accelerator is to advance innovation in the healthcare industry by connecting promising startups with leading legacy healthcare organizations in the Chattanooga region.

As a collaboration with Erlanger (the nation’s 10th-largest public healthcare system) and Unum (a Fortune 500 insurance company), startups have the unique opportunity to work closely with industry leaders in healthcare and the insurance market. Through a virtual 10-week program, companies will accelerate progress by building customer relationships, validating assumptions, pursuing strategic capital and expanding capacity.

CO.LAB connected us with industry leaders in the region and refined the way we communicated with our early adopters.

Luke Benda, CEO of Healing Innovations, Inc.


See Why Tennessee is a hotbed for Healthcare Innovation


Ideal candidates for the HealthTech Accelerator have:

  • A team of qualified individuals committed to the long-term success of the venture
  • A drive to establish critical industry partnerships, gain valuable data and scale
  • Minimum viable product (MVP)

Example focus areas ideal for accelerator:

  • Population Health
  • Medical Devices
  • Digital Health
  • Virtual Care/Telehealth
  • Billing Management
  • Revenue Cycle
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Workforce Optimization
  • Care Delivery Models

Interested in the accelerator but have more questions? Fill out the form below and let’s talk:


Team + Mentors

Kirk Burton
Kirk BurtonEntrepreneur-in-Residence, CO.LAB
Marcus Shaw
Marcus ShawCEO, CO.LAB
Tim Vita
Tim VitaChief of Staff, Unum
Steven Burkett
Steven BurkettSVP, Erlanger Physician Services
Angela Moore
Angela MooreCEO, Erlanger Community Health Centers
Marco Forato
Marco ForatoSVP, Corporate Strategy and Development, Unum
Susan Stowell
Susan StowellAVP of Workforce Reporting and Healthcare Segment Leader, Unum
Shelley Emmons
Shelley EmmonsAssistant VP, Unum
Steven Wagner
Steven WagnerExecutive Director of Development, Erlanger Health System Foundations
Alex Lewis
Alex LewisIT Chief of Staff, Unum
Reed Hayes
Reed HayesUnum
Marcy Ledford
Marcy LedfordWorkforce Solutions Director, Unum
Wade Hinton
Wade HintonVP of Diversity and Inclusion, Unum
Rachael Sauceman
Rachael SaucemanHead of Strategic Initiatives, Full Media
Tod Cain
Tod CainVP of Administration, Siskin Hospital
Rebekah Elkins Sharpe
Rebekah Elkins SharpePartner, Transparency Health
Ira Weiss
Ira WeissCo-founder, BioDtech
Eller Mallchok
Eller MallchokManaging Director, Jumpstart Foundry
Daniel Oppong
Daniel OppongDirector of Talent, Jumpstart Foundry
Taylor Bozarth
Taylor BozarthVenture Associate, CO.LAB

More to come

Know of a company who is a good fit?



Starting a company is tough, and starting a high-growth venture is even tougher. The ideal candidate sees great benefit from the opportunity to further develop, refine and scale their business, values the relationship building with Unum and Erlanger corporate executives, and is hungry to work hard over 10 weeks to make reach significant growth milestones. Entrepreneurs should also be open to the getting uncomfortable, work hard, have a positive attitude, have a growth mindset, a strong work ethic, and be coachable.
Applicants need to have at least completed an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). It is not unusual for accelerator companies to be pre-revenue, but we look for founders that are quickly iterating on their ideas and acquiring significant customer feedback.
We do not take any equity, but we also do not provide capital. We have learned that what early startups need most are mentorship, sales development, pilot customers, and product-market fit. As part of the program, we provide the coaching and connections needed to attract local and regional debt and equity capital providers for founders seeking investment.
It is typical that companies will spend around 3 hours per week in one-on-one consulting sessions with staff and mentors and another 2 hours per week in group or seminar sessions.
In order for mentors and staff to best advise companies, we ask that financial pro formas, executive summaries, marketing and sales funnels, and other relevant information be shared. We do not ask you to provide information that would jeopardize the company’s intellectual property or would otherwise be considered too sensitive to be distributed amongst the network of trusted supporters.
Many of our Accelerator alumni have gone on to raise capital, hire key employees, win large customers, expand operations and some have even joined later stage accelerators such as TechStars.
As a precautionary measure due to the COVID-19 crisis, the 2020 HealthTech Accelerator will be 100% virtual.
Ten weeks go by quickly. We constantly hear from alumni (and witnessed many times over) how this type of program is a vital investment for early stage companies—how companies not only accelerate their growth, but individuals also consider themselves better founders and organizational leaders. Just like training camp, all that we ask for are a positive attitude, a growth mindset, strong work ethic, and coachability!