Skip to content
Winrock International

Winrock, Heart Hospital, UAMS Team Up For Health Care Accelerator

AEDC-Funded Program To Support Innovative Startup Companies In Health Sector

January 9, 2018 —Winrock International, Arkansas Heart Hospital, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), and BioVentures today announced that they are collaborating to extend and expand Health InnovatAR, a program that supports and accelerates the development of new startup companies with innovative solutions to improve health care delivery in Arkansas.

“Arkansas Heart Hospital has long been the leader in bringing new medical technologies to our state, and we now welcome the opportunity to partner with innovation leaders by opening our doors, letting startups and clinical science grow together within our walls,” said Dr. Bruce Murphy, CEO of Arkansas Heart Hospital. “Health InnovatAR and Arkansas Heart Hospital will work together to help healthcare startups have the very best chance at success.”

“BioVentures is dedicated to creating a statewide infrastructure to support a growing biomedical research capacity in Arkansas,” said Nancy Gray, Ph.D., President of BioVentures, LLC. “We believe Health InnovatAR is an important part of building the ecosystem that supports the biomedical industry.”

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission awarded Winrock $250,000 for Health InnovateAR and will support the healthcare accelerator through a new program designed to increase acceleration activities in targeted industries in the state.

“AEDC is excited to support Health InnovatAR,” said Executive Director Mike Preston. “These startup companies and their research will play vital roles in changing the landscape of the health care industry in the state, the nation and all over the globe. Getting in front of the game now will help our economic climate for years to come and place Arkansas in the forefront of those working in health care innovation.”

Applications for the Health InnovatAR cohort are now open, and the cohort will be selected in early 2018. The program will take place over six months.  Each company will receive seed investment as well as intense mentorship and assistance as they rapidly proceed from concept to product development and customer acquisition.  Initial seed investments into the companies will be $50,000, and the companies may also receive additional back-end investments.

Health InnovatAR is a new and expanded iteration of a previous accelerator program known as HubX—LifeSciences, the first-ever privately-funded and industry-specific business accelerator program in Arkansas. The 2016 program featured startups from around the nation and the world with innovative products for the healthcare industry.  Each company spent three months testing their patented technologies and perfecting their business strategies. Participating companies collectively raised more than $2 million in private equity funding.

Health InnovatAR will be managed by Jeff Stinson of the Innovate Arkansas team at Winrock International. Stinson is also the executive director of the Fund for Arkansas’ Future, which is the state’s largest angel investment fund.

“We’ve built a powerful team around a successful model.” said Stinson. We’re honored and excited to have Arkansas Heart Hospital, UAMS, and BioVentures joining us as partners.”

More information about Health InnovatAR, including an online application, can be found at



Arkansas Heart Hospital (AHH) is a nationally recognized and award-winning hospital dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease.  AHH offers advanced technology teamed with a highly trained support staff and Arkansas’ leading cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons.  AHH operates a 112-bed hospital, nine catheterization labs, three heart operating suites, and a 24-hour Emergency Center; and, with over 25 clinics statewide, we perform more heart procedures than all hospitals in the state. Arkansas Heart Hospital is also a training center for physicians from all over the world.  For more info visit


UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; northwest Arkansas regional campus; statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Myeloma Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,834 students, 822 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses throughout the state, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.


BioVentures is a technology commercialization organization and startup incubator focused on promoting the biomedical technology industry for Arkansas and translating research into products that benefit human health. BioVentures links the healthcare research minds to global markets in order to advance Arkansas’ scientific and economic development.


Winrock is a recognized leader in U.S. and international development with a focus on social, agricultural and environmental issues. Inspired by its namesake, Winthrop Rockefeller, Winrock combines scientific and technical expertise with entrepreneurial innovation to deliver market-based solutions that improve lives around the world. Winrock’s mission is to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity and sustain natural resources across the globe.


Created in 1955 to make Arkansas more competitive in the post-World War II era, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) seeks to create economic opportunity by attracting higher-paying jobs, expanding and diversifying local economies in the state, increasing incomes and investment, and generating positive growth throughout The Natural State. Arkansas is a pro-business environment operating leaner, faster and more focused through a streamlined state government designed to act on corporate interests quickly and decisively.


Chris Hancock