Mount Sinai launches tech fund for women, BIPOC healthcare innovators

Mount Sinai has launched a tech fund to power women and BIPOC founders innovating in healthcare.

The health system’s commercialization arm, Mount Sinai Innovation Partners, said it’s doling out the funds to help diverse innovators advance early-stage healthcare technologies and develop commercialization plans.

Called i3 Prism, the fund is open to Mount Sinai staff, faculty and students, and allots up to $33,000 per recipient, with the exact amount depending on the milestones of the person’s work.

“i3 Prism will enable women and BIPOC innovators to take the next step in advancing breakthrough health care technologies to benefit patients,” said Erik Lium, Ph.D., president of MSIP and chief commercial innovation officer at Mount Sinai. “This fund will directly support i3 Prism awardees in bringing their solutions to the next level.”

i3 Prism is part of a series of funds launched by MSIP. Existing funds include i3 Genesis, the health system’s inaugural fund for early-stage healthcare technologies, and i3 Accelerator, which aims to use discoveries made at Mount Sinai to develop new technologies.

The name "i3" stands for “innovation, inflection and impact,” which MSIP describes as “the three ingredients necessary to expedite commercializing relevant inventions and transforming a research idea into a mature, commercial-ready technology.”

MSIP also created an incubator last year for pre-seed or seed-stage healthcare and biotech startups called Elementa Labs to accelerate the development of health tech products for potential use across Mount Sinai.

Applications for i3 Prism are due April 22, with recipients to be chosen at the beginning of the summer, according to MSIP.

The announcement comes a week after a lawsuit was filed against Mount Sinai alleging unlawful retaliation against an employee who expressed concerns about discrimination against her female colleagues.

Ann Marie Bedde, M.D., director of the Division of Global Women’s health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, filed the suit after she allegedly received a salary cut of $100,000. She argues that cut occurred because she aired grievances about the hiring of Prabhjot Singh as director of the Arnhold Institute in 2015.

Singh fell into controversy in 2019 and was ultimately removed from the directorial position after eight Mount Sinai employees filed a lawsuit against him alleging sex and age discrimination. He is still employed by Mount Sinai as an associate professor in the Icahn School of Medicine.