Johns Hopkins University, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School

HexciteJohns Hopkins Carey Business School Logo

Hexcite is an early-stage medical software accelerator connecting clinical faculty entrepreneurs with business leaders, design-thinking experts, and technologists.

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Doctors and front-line medical professionals have the best eye for the next medical innovation. Hexcite pairs these Johns Hopkins clinical leaders with a team of business experts to ensure that the next generation of innovations are brought to market. Without an incubator like Hexcite, the medical field is missing the connective tissue between clinicians on the front lines with innovative ideas and the business experts who can successfully transform a concept from an idea to a business.

Hexcite capitalizes on Johns Hopkins’ unique legacy of healthcare and innovation to lead in the business of health. Through Hexcite, Carey Business School students are given the opportunity to build relationships and learn from graduate classmates across the university, including design and engineering students, as well as work closely with Johns Hopkins Medicine clinical faculty.

Students benefit from this multidisciplinary team approach to solving business challenges. They learn how to manage diverse teams while also applying their business knowledge and maintaining responsibility for the viability of their business plan. The program not only simulates a real-world business experience but also gives students the very real opportunity to bring medical innovations to life.


Hexcite is a 16-week intensive accelerator program coupling a Johns Hopkins doctor, clinician, or medical faculty member with an idea to drive change in their healthcare specialty with business, design, and technical team members. The team works together to fine-tune the software solution, launch or accelerate the startup, and ultimately improve patient care.

Business school students apply to the program and are matched with a team in the fall semester. Weekly, expert-led sessions help teams navigate the first steps of business and technical design using the Lean Startup methodology, which focuses on growing a business with maximum acceleration. Weekly topics include defining the commercialization pathways, completing competitive analyses, exploring business models, perfecting the pitch, learning all things legal (IP, regulations, etc.), planning the product, locating funding and grants, and more.

By the end of the 16 weeks, each team finishes with a polished pitch deck, a prototype of their app or software, and 40 completed interviews with their target audience. Teams are then invited to conduct an internal pilot at Johns Hopkins Medicine as they officially launch their startup. Intangible outcomes include new methods for problem-solving, a network of entrepreneurs, and an understanding of Johns Hopkins’ entrepreneurial pathways.


In 2020, Hexcite supported five teams and startups:

  • Overnight Event Handover: A handover platform that pulls clinical data like lab tests, consults, imaging results, etc. for sharing between night and day shift physicians.
  • NICU Parent Support (aCute Cards): A baby book-themed stack of QR-coded interventions that are noninvasive and promote bonding between the parents and baby.
  • Mental health monitoring (Rose): An AI platform that collects between-appointment mental health data for patients and providers to co-develop a personalized treatment strategy.
  • Surgical consent (Consent Ready): An online repository of consent forms that are reviewed quarterly by experts in the procedure’s field to include all significant risks.
  • Sleep apnea predictor: A tool that quantifies the risk of sleep apnea in snorers, distinguishing simple habitual snores from those with concomitant sleep apnea.

Even though the teams only finished their commitment with Hexcite in the summer ofr 2020, their startups are already improving patient outcomes. Rose was recognized by Forbes for its ability to build mental health resiliency among front-line workers at Brigham & Women's Hospital. Rose is thriving and has seen a 97-percent retention rate and a 160-percent increase in time spent in app per week in the past month. The team is redefining the patient-doctor relationship in mental health care.

All five startups have brought crucial health innovations to market and will continue to shape mental health care, patient handovers, parent support in the NICU, surgical consent, and sleep apnea treatment long after their time in the incubator.

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