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The Portland-based startup was chosen to be part of a 'First 50' cohort of select startups for a global tech challenge.

Fintech company medZERO, based in Portland, has been selected by LG Electronics as one of the "First 50" startups to participate in the Mission for the Future global challenge, according to a Feb. 23 announcement.

The large-scale competition targets new business concepts in various categories, such as the metaverse, innovation for impact, smart lifestyle, energizing mobility, and connected health. MedZERO plans to participate in the connected health space.

MedZERO was selected from more than 1,300 candidates to work with the LG NOVA team, which is LG Electronics' North American Innovation Center.

MedZERO is an employer-sponsored financial wellness platform that provides healthcare payment solutions for employees. MedZERO secured $5.7 million in seed money in December 2021 from angel investors and Silicon Valley venture capital firms, according to the company.COURTESY PHOTO: MEDZERO - MedZERO co-founder Craig Froude.

MedZERO co-founder Craig Froude also co-founded WellMed Inc., another healthcare technology company that was sold to WebMD, and has more than 20 years of experience in the industry.

"We are one part of a solution to a growing problem," Froude said in a statement. "Clearly this (national medical debt) situation isn't working for anyone, and frankly it's unsustainable and a threat to the long-term financial viability of our healthcare system. We believe offering solutions to fix this broken system is an opportunity to tackle one of the most important challenges of our time."

MedZERO's technology helps out-of-pocket healthcare bills to become installment payments with no interest or fees repaid through automatic payroll deductions, according to the company, with the intention of making healthcare more accessible and affordable.

"Helping employees navigate complex and often overwhelming bureaucracy and tap into tools that offer substantial savings, tax benefits and educational aspects creates a healthier system for everyone," Froude said.

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