CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#benefits–medZERO, with its innovative healthcare financing platform, was one of five companies selected by the Meta Lab challenge last month, a prestigious competition sponsored by the Carolina Fintech Hub and MassChallenge, an international business accelerator program located in Boston.
Since last fall, 99 of the most innovative startups from around the world have been competing to solve some of the most pressing problems facing communities. These small businesses span 21 states in the US and hail from 13 countries globally, including Belarus, Colombia, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, and Rwanda.
The results were announced during Charlotte Innovation week at the Truist Bank Innovation Foundry. medZERO was selected in the Shared Challenges category to address economic and health inequities.
medZERO is a national Mobile lending & healthcare payments platform that makes healthcare affordable for employees struggling to pay their bills. Employee participants have access to on-demand funds enabling them to maximize the use of their health savings accounts resulting in savings up to 30% on their healthcare bills while extending their payments completed via payroll deductions over six to 18 months at zero interest.
Businesses and healthcare providers headquartered throughout the Charlotte region have the opportunity to participate in the Meta Lab medZERO program with discounts and rewards available for those who sign up quickly.
“The goals of the challenge aligned with our mission perfectly,” said Craig Froude, medZERO CEO and co-founder. Economic stability is the #1 social determinant of health. Without financial stability, health takes a back seat. “We started medZERO because we saw a solution that can help address the health and wealth equity gap by providing support and access to underserved individuals and communities.”
The Meta Lab is a forward-thinking collaboration among Charlotte’s city leaders in fintech and healthtech to cultivate a world-leading ecosystem for innovation and collaboration. Carolina Fintech Hub (CFH) partnered with MassChallenge (MC) to launch the first stage of this initiative. MC is a globally known organization uniquely adept at working with corporate clients to understand innovation needs and then identify and recruit the top startups and emerging companies in those fields.
“Over the last 5 years Charlotte has become known as a global fintech destination, and the Meta Lab is the next chapter in that story of inspiring growth,” says Tariq Bokhari, Executive Director/Founder of the Carolina Fintech Hub and Charlotte City Councilman.
“One of the most important milestones for a startup is landing their first enterprise customer, especially in regulated industries like finance and healthcare,” said MassChallenge CEO Siobhan Dullea. “Meanwhile, corporate leaders are learning that the fastest way to solve big challenges is to partner with a startup. These corporate-startup collaborations are a win-win.”
The judges came from a wide array of backgrounds—leaders in fintech, healthtech, education, government, and many others. Winners have an opportunity to collaborate directly with CFH anchor partners, as well as gain strategic insights and their share of an equity-free ‘innovation prize pool’ made possible by EY, Movement Mortgage, and LendingTree. Later phases of the Meta Lab include further opportunities for business development, pilots, capital investments and, in some cases, even acquisition.
Since securing $5.7 million in seed funding last year from Silicon Valley powerhouses True Ventures, Village Global and other angel investors, medZERO launched its app in November 2021 and has been signing up a wide range of customers. In February, LG Electronics and the LG Nova lab in Silicon Valley selected medZERO as one of its “First 50” startups for its large-scale Mission for the Future competition targeting new developments within the areas of Connected Health, Energizing Mobility, Smart Lifestyle, The Metaverse and Innovation for Impact.
medZERO, based in Portland, Ore., is an employer-sponsored financial wellness platform that provides employees a smarter solution to pay for healthcare. medZERO is led by an experienced executive team and backed by industry leading investors. Learn more at medzero.com.