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An innovative healthcare company launched at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa received a major boost from one of the country’s largest startup investors. Pear Suite, which was established by Shidler College of Business students, was named to the spring 2022 class of the Techstars Los Angeles accelerator program.

Pear Suite is one of 12 companies in the 13-week program that will receive mentoring and resources, which include a $20,000 investment from Techstars L.A., in exchange for a 6% equity stake in the company. Techstars L.A. emphasized technology in healthcare for this cohort.

According to co-founder and CEO Colby Takeda, Pear Suite is a software-as-a-service company that looks to better address the social drivers of health for older adults, which include increasing access to healthcare through transportation options, increasing the availability of healthy food, getting them connected to technology for telehealth, building strong social connections to reduce isolation, and supporting a healthy and safe home environment.

“These are all of the things that we know really drive healthy outcomes but aren’t being addressed by the current healthcare system in a comprehensive way. We have a platform that enables organizations to do that easily and keep track of their members,” Takeda said.

To date, Takeda said his team has worked with 13 healthcare organizations in Hawaiʻi, touching more than 10,000 lives. Now, the goal is to go national.

“We’d like to find organizations and companies in the continental U.S. to do pilots and bring on as customers,” Takeda said. “…For example, we would love to work with value-based care providers and health plans to demonstrate how virtual care navigators can increase access to telehealth, keep members physically active, boost annual screenings and vaccinations, and drive other healthy outcomes for older adults.”

Takeda said they also hope to find “mentors that can help connect us to the right people that can grow the business on multiple levels.”

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