With Hartford pushing to raise its profile as a hotbed of entrepreneurship and innovation, the first class of fledgling companies chosen for downtown’s new medtech accelerator focused squarely Tuesday on beating the odds stacked against startups.

“It’s ridiculously hard to make a startup succeed, and that’s why programs like this are so important,” Gerry Roston, managing director of the program, Digital Health CT, said. “It’s called an accelerator, and fundamentally, the role of an accelerator is to reduce the time that it takes to get into the market with their product.”

The accelerator fosters connections between startups and large health systems such as Hartford HealthCare, one of the partners that launched the accelerator earlier this year. Key to the program, Roston said, is helping young companies better understand how they fit into the bigger health care industry.

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