Digital Health Marketplace

Catalyst @ Health 2.0 (“Catalyst”) operated the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) Digital Health Marketplace (DHMP) from 2013-2018. The program was designed to foster innovation and support the expanding health technology industry in New York City. Through a combination of grant funding, matchmaking events, pilot programs, and educational support, Catalyst and NYCEDC provided considerable benefits to health care institutions, technology companies, investors, and start-ups in the NYC ecosystem.

This unique initiative started in 2013 as Pilot Health Tech NYC and was rebranded as the Digital Health Marketplace in 2015 to better represent its focus on creating commercial partnerships between health technology “Buyers” (e.g. large health institutions or investors) and “Sellers” (e.g., start-ups or health care innovators). Through curated matchmaking events and NYCEDC’s financial assistance, program participants were able to make valuable connections that enhanced their strategic partnerships and enabled real-world testing of new technologies.

DHMP encourages piloting of health technologies, rapid adoption of digital tools into healthcare settings, and expedites competitive commercialization of solutions that can enhance the New York City health tech ecosystem. The program facilitates relationships between entrepreneurial healthcare technology companies and organizations providing healthcare services in NYC such as hospitals, physician clinics, payers, pharma companies, nursing associations and community health centers. Each pilot project funded through DHMP focused on addressing defined needs within the health care ecosystem and testing a technology on the ground in a health-focused organization.

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 Companies featured in DHMP included:

Large Hospitals and Medical Centers: New York Presbyterian, NYU Langone, Mount Sinai, Montefiore, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Northwell Health, St. John's Episcopal Hospital, SBH Health Center, Weill Cornell Medicine, Penn State Family Medicine, CUNY School of Public Health, Athena Health, and Lenox Hill Hospital

Community Health Organizations: The New Jewish Home, Motion PT, Essen Medical, Coordinated Behavioral Care, Services for the Underserved, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, Betances Health Center, VillageCare, Sunnyside Community Services, and William F. Ryan Community Center

Research Organizations: Nestle Health Sciences, CompuGroup Medical US, Institute for Life Sciences Coordination, Universal American / Collaborative Health Systems, Pace University College of Health Professions, Zowie Global Health LTD, Children’s Integrated Center for Success, Universal American, Primary Care Information Project, The Network for Jewish Human Services, and the Institute for Life Science

Investment Professionals: Digitalis Ventures, Affiniti VC, NYP Ventures, Mount Sinai Ventures, and Northwell Ventures

Pharmaceutical Companies: Novartis, and Bayer

Insurance Companies: New York Life Insurance, Aetna, Healthfirst, and Universal American


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As part of DHMP, Catalyst and NYCEDC hosted large matchmaking events to provide a forum where organizations could meet with relevant, vetted health technology start-ups that aligned with their specific needs. The purpose of these meetings was for the parties to discuss collaborating on potential pilot studies, forming strategic partnerships, or evaluating avenues for commercialization and investment opportunities. The meetings were conducted in a series of concise 15-minute sessions at the New York Genome Center, with the day planned to strategically align “Buyers” (a healthcare stakeholder or employer with specific technological needs and willingness to invest in digital health) and “Sellers” (an early stage digital health technology startup) based on their goals and needs.

Across 6 years of matchmaking events, Catalyst received 1,500+ applications from over 150 Buyers and 1,300 Sellers. This resulted in more than 1,100 curated meetings, many of which forged connections that continue to support NYC institutions and bolster growth for the health tech ecosystem. 

Catalyst pre-arranged meetings based on the Buyers’ expressed technology preferences and the strengths of the applicants. After matches were made, information about the organizations was shared so that both Buyers and Sellers had background details on one another. Thus, meeting time was utilized to have a deeper discussion about specific interests, the digital health products/services available, the needs of each company, and if strategic alignments would be beneficial.


 Digital Health Forum


In May 2016 and December 2017, DHMP combined live presentations from subject matter experts with its matchmaking sessions. The Digital Health Forum brought together entrepreneurs, innovators, hospital professionals, and industry leaders to explore the impact of digital health in NYC. Attendees were given valuable, real-world advice to support their business strategies as well as the opportunity to network with prominent professionals. Topics included the State of NYC Digital Health, Unlocking Untapped Markets: Partnering with Payors, Community Health Orgs, and How to Raise Funds in NYC. The Digital Health Forum was a ticketed event with over 25 speakers and 200+ attendees.


Pilot Programs

The DHMP funded pilot program was developed to support New York City innovators by offsetting costs associated with testing their technology solutions in real-world healthcare settings. By testing technologies, organizations de-risk their commitment to large-scale implementation and gauge the usefulness of a new tool. Similarly, startups and innovators greatly benefit from these studies and obtain instrumental feedback on user interaction and the clinical efficacy of their tools. As such, Catalyst and NYCEDC arranged 6-14 month pilots and provided guidance to assist all participants and keep studies efficiently organized. Our team tracked each pilot closely and ensured that milestones were met, progress occurred, and success metrics were reported in a timely manner. 

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DHMP pilot proposals were measured on quality, team capacity, financial feasibility, impact, and a technical assessment. Catalyst used a structured application process as well as its propriety judging platform to help determine appropriate pilots to fund. Catalyst’s proprietary judging platform is an in-house software designed for storing and rating challenge and pilot applications. Application information was shared with NYCEDC and concurrently evaluated with the goal of choosing the highest quality pairs to participate in this unique program.

In order to monitor the implementation of pilot projects and quickly resolve any challenges, Catalyst collected and reviewed monthly reports where teams provided feedback on milestones, ongoing progress, and any issues experienced. Innovators were asked to include details and status updates so that the pilot program team could understand the pilot’s trajectory, objectives and timeline. Additionally, monthly or bi-monthly calls were set in place to help keep each pilot on track and more importantly, to monitor the progress of the relationship between the two parties. Once pilots were completed, innovators were required to submit a more detailed final report with key data and deliverables to aid in the understanding and analysis of the pilot and larger program outcomes. The Catalyst team also worked with the pilot pairs to understand the feasibility of ongoing partnerships and encouraged ongoing alignment via commercial agreements and other strategic arrangements.

Nearly 200 applications were received to be part of the DHMP funding program. Four cohorts were implemented across a total of 39 pilot pairs. A total of $2.2 million was awarded to facilitate studies of health technologies in areas such as telemedicine, clinical communication, home based care, access to care, and patient satisfaction. Impressively, DHMP pilots touched more than 22,000 patient lives, participating startups created over 215 jobs, and innovators raised $80 million in capital following the completion of the program. 

 Success Stories

Many companies that participated in DHMP have entered into commercial partnerships and/or raised multiple rounds of funding. For example:


  • $600k in total funding (Angel) during the time of application in 2014

  • Piloted with Village Care in 2014 and entered into a commercial agreement after a successful pilot was completed

  • Closed a $6.5mm Series A round in July 2017

Smart Vision Labs

  • $1.3mm in total funding during time of application in 2014

  • Piloted with The Research Foundation for the State University of New York in 2014

  • Raised $6mm Series A in June 2015 and has reached over 60,000+ patients to date via 200+ optometry practices


  • $5mm in total funding (Angel and Seed) during the time of application in 2017

  • Pilot kicked off with Betances Health Center in August 2017

  • One year later, Klara closed a $11.5mm Series A round in August 2018

  • Klara raised another $2mm in funding since the start of the pilot



  • $1.5mm in total funding (Seed) during time of application in 2015

  • Piloted with Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in February 2017 and entered into a commercial agreement shortly after pilot completion

  • Callen-Lorde observed $95k in savings in 14 months and patients saved a total of 4,600 wait days to see clinical specialists

  • Closed a $13.8mm Series B round in April 2018 and later secured additional partnerships with NYC health centers


  • $2.5mm in total funding (Angel and Seed) during time of application in 2017

  • Piloted with Mount Sinai from November 2017 to July 2018 and signed a commercial agreement thereafter

  • Mount Sinai observed a significant increase in medication adherence among pilot participants (88% medication adherence as opposed to ~50% average medication adherence)



The Digital Health Marketplace program is an invaluable resource for fledgling digital health startups and the healthcare delivery system is interested in exploring new innovations. It allowed us an opportunity to experience and foresee a myriad of challenges that lay in the way of bringing a disruptive product to market. It helped us to prepare tremendously for our eventual go to market phase.
— Bill Tan, Canopy
We are honored to be selected for funding among an elite group of top NYC-based digital health companies. Having conducted this pilot has given us the evidence we need to support the use of our application in hospitals and the data we need to secure additional investment from grants and investors.
— Laurie Thackeray, RecoverLINK
DHMP was a great experience for an innovator. TweeQ learned that we could deliver on requests by the Host within 24-48 hours, exceeding both of our expectations.
— Corinne Paroly, Tweeq
It [DHMP] is a fantastic and important program... Staff knows the value of this program to our seniors as evidenced by the retention and feedback from the seniors.
— Henry Street Settlement Team