The launch of MedStartr aims to fill a gap in the crowdfunding services provided by Kickstarter.com by providing a crowdfunding platform for health and medical-focused projects, products and interventions. The MedStartr platform enables project makers to run customized, fundraising campaigns to raise money from backers for the purpose of funding healthcare related projects. (Currently, the popular Kickstarter crowdfunding service is not available to many health, fitness and medical related projects).
One of the current MedStartr campaigns is for: Avado’s “GPS for Healthcare” which pitches a novel patient-relationship-management-system. With a fundraising goal of $5,000, all levels of contributions are solicited… starting with a $1 contribution to show support for a “tidal wave of innovation.” Take a look: (http://www.medstartr.com/projects/13-avado-patient-relationship-management)
On the MedStartr website, health care forward thinkers including, “patients, entrepreneurs, physicians, researchers, non-profits, artists, filmmakers, musicians, designers, writers, performers, and others” are encouraged to submit projects that could include:
- New medical devices
- Killer apps for healthy living
- Opening a clinic or practice
- Drug development (if you have a new drug in stage IV clinical trials)
- Fundraising for research
- See the complete list of examples at http://beta.medstartr.com/faq
Evidently, MedStartr vets each crowdfunding application and works with applicants to shape their products and projects for optimal success. In return, MedStartr plans to keep 5% of funds raised on the platform. Currently, the amount of capital projects can raise on MedStartr is limited to $40,000.
The inspiration behind MedStartr’s launch came in part by rejection (Alex Fair who founded MedStartr had a healthtech campaign rejected by Kickstarter) and in part by the JOBS Act which legalized funding in start-ups by non-accredited investors. The SEC is still ironing out the specifics of the crowdfunding regulations. As with all medical businesses, the FDA and other regulations provide specific measures and restrictions on health businesses.
See also: http://www.medstartr.com/;http://twitter.com/medstartr; http://www.xconomy.com/new-york/2012/07/11/medstartr-offers-crowdfunding-for-health-it-firms-including-itself/; http://techcrunch.com/2012/07/11/medstartr-launch/; http://www.medstartr.com/terms; http://mobihealthnews.com/17841/medstartr-to-launch-after-kickstarter-rejects-some-health-projects/; @iplegalfreebies and www.kasterlegal.com.
BY: Vanessa Kaster, Esq., LL.M.