BOSTON, MASS. – Kinto was named the winner of the Massachusetts Digital Health COVID-19 Recovery Challenge on Wednesday. Cambridge-based Kinto, a virtual platform that offers caregiver coaching, a personalized e-learning curriculum, and peer support groups, will benefit from a $100,000 grant to advance its product with MITRE, a member of the Massachusetts Digital Health Sandbox Network. The other two finalists, Dear Mémé and Thriving.ai, were awarded $50,000 in grants to work with their Sandbox partners.
This Challenge was the first of two in a new program meant to identify and grow digital health tools that will help drive economic recovery from the pandemic. The Challenge focused on finding solutions to help unpaid family caregivers manage caregiving tasks that were exacerbated by the pandemic and more easily return to work.
Wednesday’s event, which took place at MIT’s Samberg Conference Center, was the culmination of a months-long intensive accelerator program led by Lever, which included lean startup workshops and tailored mentoring from experts that helped the companies develop products, streamline business plans, and hone their go-to-market strategy. During the accelerator, MeHI matched the eight companies with R&D labs from the Massachusetts Digital Health Sandbox Network to scope projects designed to test and validate their solutions to help bring them to market faster. The grant funding for the finalists will be used to cover the fees charged by their Sandbox partners to complete their testing and validation projects.
The Massachusetts Digital Health COVID-19 Recovery Challenge is sponsored by MeHI and supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration’s SPRINT Challenge Grant program. U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Alejandra Castillo delivered taped remarks to the attendees at the opening of the final event.
The two runners up will be supported by $50,000 in ‘tuition’ to advance their product with a local R&D center, or Sandbox:
- Dear Mémé (Boston, Mass.): A provider of activity kits for caregivers and families who care for someone with dementia, will work with Brigham Digital Innovation Hub on their project; and
- Thriving.ai (Boston, MA): An app that brings everyone involved in a senior’s healthcare, social care, informal family care, and professional care together to support independent living, will work with the Medical Device Interoperability & Cybersecurity Program at MGH on their project.
About the Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech
The Massachusetts eHealth Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, is the Commonwealth’s entity for healthcare innovation, technology, and competitiveness, and partners with industry, government, and healthcare organizations to support the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative on behalf of Governor Charlie Baker. MeHI also helps all the Commonwealth’s providers harness the benefits of electronic health records and the Mass HIway, the statewide health information exchange. For more information, please visit https://mehi.masstech.org and follow @MassEHealth. Learn more about the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative at www.massdigitalhealth.org.
Founded in 2014, Lever is an economic development non-profit focused on innovation-driven job creation. Lever supports entrepreneurs with startup expertise, an investment fund, research, mentors, and access to talent. Lever has helped launch dozens of companies that have attracted more than $10M in equity investment and have created more than 200 jobs. Lever supports existing companies by helping their intrapreneurs “innovate from within” using proven entrepreneurial methods for top-line revenue growth and job creation. Since 2018, Lever has produced 11 Challenges in health technology and COVID response, awarding more than $400,000 in grants to Challenge winners. Lever's 2020-2021 COVID Challenge series, developed in partnership with MassTech, helped dozens of mature Massachusetts companies pivot to PPE production and helped six startups develop innovations to support COVID recovery. Learn more at www.leverinc.org.