New York is already home to one health-centric incubator: Blueprint Health, a member of the Global Accelerator Network which includes TechStars and more than 40 other incubators. It’s also the homebase of the Startup Health Academy, a mentoring program with an eye on the long-term. With Health 2.0 opening an office in New York, that makes three major resources for health tech companies; and with today’s launch of Gramercy-based WellTech, that makes four. Trend-plus?
WellTech, a health and wellness-focused incubator, announced its first two incubatees today, the charmingly-named FITiST and Wizpert. The two startups–and more to be announced in the coming months–will receive guidance, office space in Union Square, mentoring and marketing support for six months, with the possibility of extension.
WellTech companies will also receive a minimum $50,000 investment and the potential for follow-on funding from WellTech and “other introduced investors.”
The inaugural WellTech companies are:
FITiST (www.FITiST.com): Capitalizing on the rise of boutique fitness and aiming to reinvent the traditional gym membership, FITiST provides members with one-stop access to the best of the best boutique studios. Members can create their own fitness and wellness plan or select a plan curated by FITIST experts like celebrity trainers Andrea Orbeck and Ramona Braganza and nutritionist Oz Garcia. Members book all their classes and manage their schedule on FITiST’s universal fitness calendar, the first centralized calendar for the boutique fitness industry. FITiST also has created a black book of the top personal fitness, wellness, and beauty services that can be added to any plan. Currently in beta in New York City and Los Angeles, FITiST plans to expand to other cities nationwide in the near future.
Wizpert (www.wizpert.com): Dedicated to providing users with immediate access to experts, Wizpert is the first platform that instantly connects advice seekers with qualified experts for a real-time conversation on a wide-range of topics, from nutrition and exercise to cooking and parenting. The platform allows highly rated experts to monetize their advice by joining Wizpert and placing a customized button on their blogs. There are also hundreds of “wizperts” available for free. Wizpert is backed by New York City-based Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator. The iPhone app will be released in April 2012.
The funding for WellTech comes from Jubilee Investments, an investment firm led by SpaFinder CEO Pete Ellis. Jubilee also invested in GramercyOne, maker of a cloud-based management system for spas, gyms and medical practices. Between SpaFinder’s 12,000 spas-served and GramercyOne’s recent $14.5 million financing led by Steve Case’s Revolution Ventures, Mr. Ellis is keen to invest in health and wellness startups, however malleable that category may be.
“The phenomenal success of SpaFinder and GramercyOne showed us that technology holds enormous potential for helping people lead healthier lives,” Mr. Ellis said in a press relase. “New York City is home to some of the most creative innovators in both the technology and wellness sectors, and we look forward to working with them to take wellness-related technology and services to an exciting new level.”
WellTech can accommodate up to five companies at a time. Application are accepted on a rolling basis.