Commercializing Innovation for Community Wellness

Presented in partnership with Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, the Community Health Accelerator is a broad initiative designed to promote awareness, research, and innovation related to the social determinants of health (SDOH). In addressing the non-medical factors that impact personal wellness, this first-of-its-kind program seeks to advance health equity in communities across South Texas and beyond.

The centerpiece of the program is a specialized accelerator tailored to startups that are working to commercialize innovations that address disparities in education, socioeconomic status, living conditions, access to healthcare, and environment. Launching in Fall 2024, the Community Health Accelerator will provide a collaborative and nurturing environment for SDOH-focused innovators to accelerate their growth and development toward deployment in our community.

The Accelerator will feature a wide range of focused programming that is specifically curated for helping companies trying to make a positive impact on lives around the world through innovations that can be deployed in South Texas. This cohort-based program will provide growing companies with the assistance they need to best overcome the “valley of death” that frequently causes startup companies to fail. Programming modeled after the gold standards of the industry will include: a structured curriculum, mentoring, business coaching, operational advice, pitch development, peer collaboration, and more.

Cohort companies will participate in a public Demo Day pitch event at the conclusion of the program. Application deadline: June 15th

Community Health Innovation Seminar Series

Leading up to the Accelerator’s launch, VelocityTX will oversee 10 monthly educational seminars designed to cover the process of commercializing innovations that address the social determinants of health. 

Hosted in the Rio Grande Valley, the sessions are free to the community and aim to raise awareness of SDOH among emerging innovators, students, healthcare professionals, and the general public.

*Seminar registration opens approximately 4 weeks prior to event.

Upcoming Educational Events

Session 9: Key Points of Term Sheets*
June 18, 2024

Session 10: Tax Requirements*
July 25, 2024

Past Events

Session 8: Ways to Collaborate with the Military

Learn how to partner with the military in this session of our Community Health Innovation Seminar Series. Led by Jeremy Nelson, PhD., DHA Portfolio Manager – Sensory Systems, this unique seminar will help you better understand the intricacies of engaging with the military through government contracts and procurement processes. Explore the key steps and considerations involved in securing military contracts, navigating regulatory frameworks, and ensuring successful collaborations that contribute to national defense objectives.

Session 7: Angel Investing 101

Learn the ins and outs of angel investing in this recording from our Community Health Innovation Seminar Series. Led by seasoned investor Lara August, Founder of Robot Creative, this webinar will show you what you’ll need to pitch for angel investors and walk through the funding implications of early stage investment.

Guest Speaker: Lara August – Serial Investor / Founder, Robot Creative

Session 6: IP Protection & Strategy


Learn about the various types of Intellectual Property (IP) in the sixth session of our Community Health Innovation Seminar Series. Led by seasoned attorney Bill Mason, this webinar will help you understand which IP is most applicable to your company and show you how to access resources to comprehensively protect IP, no matter where the company is located.

Guest Speaker: Bill Mason – Associate General Counsel-Intellectual Property, Southwest Research Institute

Session 5: Building a Pitch

This seminar offers valuable insights to help you present your company’s financial potential and community impact. Learn how to avoid common mistakes when building a pitch deck, and receive practical tips for crafting a message that leaves a lasting impression.


Guest Speaker: Alfred Mesquiti – Founder, DeckSavvy

Session 4: Operational Risks Every Startup Should Understand

This seminar explores critical aspects of operational risk management, such as supply chain vulnerabilities, technology disruptions, and regulatory compliance challenges. Learn effective strategies for identifying potential risks, conducting risk assessments, and implementing mitigation plans to safeguard your organization’s operations and enhance overall resilience.

Guest Speaker: Linda Loftus – Founder, Loftus Management Consulting

Session 3: Get Moving - Legally Starting Your Company

Did you know that the way you establish your business can have implications on how you serve your customers? In the third session of our Community Health Innovation Seminar Series, Guest Speaker Matt Duke walks through the legal aspects of starting a company, exploring how different business structures can impact those you seek to serve. This session also covers the opportunities and benefits available to those who choose to incorporate as a nonprofit organization.

Session 2: Health Equity & Your Business Plan

The second session in our Community Health Innovation Seminar Series explored healthcare access not simply as a business aim, but as a central consideration of your business plan. Attendees learned about the Lean Canvas modeling tool as Guest Speaker Matt Duke walked through the process required  to build your company on a foundation that promotes equitable healthcare access.

Session 1: A Conversation About the Social Determinants of Health

Presented by Methodist Healthcare Ministries in partnership with VelocityTX, the first event in our Community Wellness Innovation Seminar Series explored the societal factors that impact community wellness with a focus on how innovation can advance health equity.

Speaking on the commercialization of SDH-focused technologies, Matt Duke, founder of the South Texas Business Lawyers, discussed healthcare access through a lens of key market strategy.


What are the social determinants of health?

SDOH are the non-medical factors that influence health outcomes—things like education, socioeconomic status, living conditions, access to care, and environment. With a dual focus on education and innovation, the Community Health Accelerator will help translate leading-edge science into positive health outcomes in communities all across South Texas.

Who should attend the educational seminars?

Entrepreneurs and community members interested in the social determinants of health (SDOH). Lecture discussion will focus on the process of commercializing innovations to address SDOH.

What comes after the educational seminars?

VelocityTX will select four emerging companies to participate in the Methodist Healthcare Ministries Community Health Accelerator, launching August 2024. Designed to help startups navigate the entrepreneurial “valley of death,” this program will offer cohort participants access to entrepreneurs-in-residence, personalized pitch coaching, and comprehensive business training.

Incubator Program

The Incubator Program is designed to scale early-stage bioscience companies by providing long-term support and includes office and meeting space, access to industry experts, mentors, and more.

CEO Roundtable

The CEO Roundtable is an exclusive membership program that brings together executives from non-competing bioscience and healthcare companies to foster innovation, collaboration, and connections.