TreeHouse Health, a medical-technology accelerator that provides investment and Loring Park loft space to its stable of early-stage ventures, has signed up its second high-profile anchor tenant.
The state’s largest health plan, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, has agreed to establish a presence among the whiteboards and exposed brick of TreeHouse Health’s start-up space, across Hennepin Avenue from the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis.
In December, TreeHouse announced its first anchor tenant would be Hennepin County Medical Center.
TreeHouse has invested in a handful of med-tech firms, eight of which keep their offices at the Loring Park location. The firm also provides professional services and entrepreneurial expertise.
The idea behind the anchor-tenant concept is that the small portfolio companies will benefit from face-to-face exposure with their future institutional customers, like health plans and hospitals. Future anchor tenants may include a large medical device maker and a national retailer with health care business.
The portfolio companies “must understand the needs of their customers,” TreeHouse Chairman Dr. John Blank said in a statement. “We know Blue Cross will help our start-ups understand the issues facing health care payers and assist in their path to commercialization.”
Blue Cross is hoping to benefit by “fostering new ideas and supporting new voices,” the health plan’s chief strategy officer, Rochelle Myers, said in a news release.
“We’re excited to provide TreeHouse Health with access to our knowledge and strategic insight, based on Blue Cross’ 80-plus years of innovation and experience,” Myers said.