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Wellmark seeking start-ups and entrepreneurs to participate in innovative Mentor+Match event in Cedar Rapids

Event creates an opportunity for startups to network and pitch healthcare-aligned ideas while gaining mentorship along with a chance to earn prize money and a six-month career mentorship.

June 5, 2014

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield is collaborating with Elevar, a company that specializes in healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship, to provide a free event called “Mentor+Match” on July 12, in Cedar Rapids. The event will provide healthcare-aligned Iowa startups and entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain exposure and further develop their startup. Wellmark has also engaged the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance to provide support and local business engagement.


“Wellmark strives to improve the health of all Iowans by building and creating a sustainable health care system that assures innovative and quality care for generations to come,” said Rebecca Falk, Wellmark’s Interactive Strategy Director. “This event allows us to support that goal while also investing in local companies to find innovative solutions, tools and services.”


The event will feature Iowa executives, successful entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists that will interact with participants through presentations and mentorship sessions including a speed dating-type format to help provide insight and direct feedback for each startup. The day will end with a Pitch Competition where each startup presents to a panel of judges for a chance to earn money and a six-month career mentorship. The public is invited to listen to the final Pitch Competition from 3- 5 p.m.


“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Wellmark in our mutual effort to support talented digital health entrepreneurs” said Chris Edell, Co-Founder of Elevar. “Bridging the innovative perspectives of entrepreneurs with the domain knowledge of health executives will help shape impactful and scalable solutions that will benefit healthcare consumers in Iowa, South Dakota, as well as the greater U.S.”


Startups will be selected to participate based on their application. Applications are due June 20, 2014. Prize money will be awarded to the top three startups.


Event summary:

Who:   Iowa startups and entrepreneurs
What:   Wellmark & Elevar Mentor+Match event
When:  Saturday, July 12, 2014, 10 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Where: Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance office
501 First St SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
Why: Iowa startups/entrepreneurs have the chance to win mentorship with a Wellmark executive and earn money to develop their healthcare-aligned startup.
How: To learn more about the event or to apply, visit:

To follow the event on Twitter, use the hashtag: #MentorMatchIA


About Wellmark

Wellmark, Inc. does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., insure or pay health benefit claims for more than 2 million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.


About Elevar

Elevar delivers real innovation in healthcare through Elevar Labs, a healthcare innovation development program, as well as Elevar Consulting, its boutique healthcare consulting services. Elevar works with senior executives of large healthcare organizations to address their most challenging healthcare problems and further leverages deep ties with innovative healthcare startups to offer a unique platform to infuse health innovation into enterprise. Elevar is a privately held company.



Contact Wellmark Media Relations

Traci McBee
Phone: 515-376-4338


Teresa Roof
Phone: 515-376-5869


1331 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309-2901

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