Accelerate South Healthcare Business Services

Accelerate Your Healthcare Business


Are you an innovator or entrepreneur in the healthcare sector? If so, you may be looking for a way to bring your business to the next level, right? What you need is acceleration! Louisiana is home to some of the most prominent healthcare giants in the United States. Like you, we are inspired to solve major healthcare related problems. We have brought together a network of healthcare partners, business entities mentors, economic development leaders, academic leaders and investors through Accelerate South - a federal Economic Development Administration business acceleration program.

Fueling this fall 2018 acceleration program, a newly formed investment group comprised of angel investors as well as healthcare institutional investors such as Lafayette General HealthLHC GroupAcadian Companies and VieMed will provide chosen startups with access to their networks of people who will serve as mentors to you and your growing team. These healthcare behemoths will provide chosen companies with access to their networks of people who will serve as mentors to growing teams and open their doors to create a living lab experience to test new innovations.
Ten companies will be accepted into this healthcare accelerator which is located at Louisiana’s two major interstate crossroads. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette, a grant partner, is home to one of the largest pharmaceutical research centers in the US. Office space in the progressive Opportunity Machine will also be provided, at no charge to accelerator teams, by grant partner Lafayette Economic Development Authority. Competitive state incentives programs through Louisiana Economic Development are also fair game for companies in the program that meet requirements. Finally, Winrock International, our facilitating grant partner will provide invaluable oversight and guidance to all stakeholders throughout the acceleration program.


The time is right to solve major healthcare challenges in America. Louisiana is a Living Lab open to entrepreneurs ready to solve these critical needs. If you’re up for the challenge, we invite you to learn more or apply now for Accelerate South.


How Accelerate South Works


Up to ten companies will be chosen for Accelerate South, a healthcare-focused business accelerator program. Each company will receive office space, tailored curricula, networks of highly engaged subject matter expert mentors, professional services as well as open-door access to our many “living labs” to test their products or services.


Step 1

A company applies HERE by JULY 15TH to our accelerator. We are looking for businesses with strong founders, industry traction, intellectual property or trade secrets, strong marketing potential, and exit strategies.


Step 2

A team of investors and grant partners vet the applications and choose potential finalists. Founders are then called for initial interviews. If there seems to be a fit in our ecosystem, we will ask each business to pitch their ideas to our vetting team in person or via Skype.


Step 3

The vetting team will invite up to ten companies to commit to our accelerator. Each investors will be committing a minimum of $50,000 to potentially be invested in accelerator team companies. Investment will take place after the accelerator ends.


Step 4

Teams go through 3 months of a focused acceleration curricula where their business models are tweaked by industry mentors and subject matter experts. A few public and private pitches will be part of the curricula. If businesses are a good fit for our healthcare partners, they will be allowed varying degrees of access to test their products/services throughout acceleration.


Step 5

Program graduates will have access to further acceleration and investment capital through the healthcare institutional investors, Acadiana Angels network and other regional investors.

Healthcare Partners

  • Acadian Companies

    Acadian Companies,what began as a small ambulance company has now expanded to include a diverse suite of services offering the best support in health, safety and transportation covering Louisiana, Southeast Texas, Central Texas, North Texas and parts of Mississippi. In 1995 it was recognized as the largest privately owned ambulance service in the United States.

  • Lafayette General Health

    Lafayette General Health (LGH) is Acadiana’s largest non-profit, community-owned regional health system committed to always delivering excellence. The system has over 4,000 employees, serving the south-central region of Louisiana by aligning with facilities across Acadiana. LGH is a founding member of the Ochsner Health Network.

  • LHC Group

    LHC Group is the preferred in-home healthcare partner for 76 health systems, consisting of 336 leading hospitals around the country. The company’s approximately 30,000 employees deliver home health, hospice, personal care services, and facility-based services from more than 780 locations in communities in 36 states.

  • New Iberia Research Center (NIRC)

    The New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) is a biomedical research facility of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and is the US’s largest primate research facility. For over 30 years, NIRC has been a preferred partner of university, government, pharmaceutical, and biotech institutions for the development and characterization of nonhuman primate models of human diseases for applied and basic research aimed at promoting human quality of life.

  • VieMed

    Viemed provides home respiratory service to patients struggling with various respiratory diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and various neuromuscular diseases.


  • What kind of companies are you looking for?

    We are looking for investment-ready, growth-stage healthcare companies with at least two people (team members) in them. Applicants should have a reasonable valuation, fully-baked business model, market traction and need for seed or angel capital. Prepared term sheets are also preferred to streamline the process for investment.

  • When are the program dates?


    August 20th to November 16th of 2018 

  • When is the deadline to apply for the program?

    The deadline to apply is 11:59 PM CT Sunday July 15, 2018.

  • Where is the program hosted?

    The one and only, Lafayette, LA.

    Honored as the "Happiest City in America" by the Wall Street Journal's, Lafayette is the heart of Louisiana's tasty Cajun & Creole culture. Our way of life, ready workforce, healthy entrepreneurial business climate, thriving healthcare ecosystem, Gigabit Fiber, tax-incentives and more attract companies of all sizes to start or relocate here.

  • Who are the investors?

    This investment groups are comprised of SEC accredited healthcare entities and individual investors. Besides investing, each member has pledged to share their business wisdom from decades of experience. Some of the corporate investors are first and second generational entrepreneurs that started small and now have thousands of employees with over a billion dollars in annual revenue. You will meet them, their teams, and their network. Some may even be your next client. :) 


  • Is each chosen company guaranteed $50,000?

    No. All investments will be negotiated at the end of the accelerator program. Each healthcare institutional investor has committed $50,000 to be invested at the end of the program; however, that does not mean you are garaunteed an investment. Similarly, each angel investor of Accelerate South has committed $20,000 to be invested at the end of the program; however, that does not mean you are guaranteed a capital infusion.

  • How many companies are chosen?

    We are targeting up to 10 companies for acceleration.

  • What can I expect to happen during the three months if chosen?

    Commercialization of your products/services is paramount for Accelerate South. If you are already commercialized, great; growth becomes priority. A three-month curriculum based on your business's needs will be finalized once the cohort is chosen. Additionally, since each entity has a unique pathway to success, a team of experts will map the "next steps" for each company, assuring the highest value of time during our program.

  • Do applicants need to be in Lafayette every day of the program?

    No. We realize that moving away for three months is challenging even if you are from other places in Louisiana. Reasonable time away from Lafayette during the program is understood. Certain events and learning opportunities however will require attendance from all chosen companies. We expect that your main focus during these three months will be spent growing your company, learning from our mentors and working to gain contracts with Louisiana businesses aligned with your value proposition.

  • Do you require chosen companies to stay in Louisiana after the accelerator?

    Nope. Our hope of course is that you will find fertile ground to grow in our backyard or at least have a business presence in one of our Louisiana cities, but business growth may be wiser somewhere else. That’s cool with us, we will be proud to say we have been a part of your journey! 


  • When will applicants be notified of acceptance to the program?

    You will be notified by July 23rd at the very latest. 

  • Is there someone I can call to talk about the program before applying?

    Of course! We suggest starting with Reece Theriot, MBA - Executive Director of Accelerate South. Like you, Reece is also an entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience starting, succeeding, failing and learning in the world of startups. Unlike you (maybe), Reece is an instructor of sales and entrepreneurship at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Reach out at

Healthcare Innovators what are you waiting for?

South Louisiana is the place to be!

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