In what could come as a big boost to entrepreneurs working to promote healthcare through innovations across the globe, University of New South Wales—Sydney and The George Institute for Global Health (TGI) have joined forces to launch a program dubbed Health10x designed to accelerate and scale up health focused start-ups.
The Health10x program was conceived by both The George Institute and UNSW and is being delivered by the UNSW Entrepreneurship Unit. The program leverages the deep technical expertise and health-related networks of TGI, as well as the program experience and global networks of UNSW.
The program’s first cohort of entrepreneurs includes five health start-up companies, all having a product or service that focuses on chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, or diabetes that will impact emerging economies. These start-ups include Bio-Sens Tech, Evidentli, BeacoHealth, Attoquest and Circulatory Support Technologies.
Through the course of 20 weeks, these start-ups will receive training in vital business development and entrepreneurship skills as well as health courses delivered by researchers at The George Institute. The accelerator program included an immersion trip to India in August that exposed the start-ups to the healthcare sector in a key emerging market. The Australian High Commission in India is supporting the Health 10x challenge and was a host during the August visit.
“We are delighted to support the Health10x challenge. These Australian companies represent ground-breaking innovations in the health sector. “Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Harinder Sidhu said.
“Given India’s focus on creating an enabling ecosystem for innovation, it is timely that these start-ups are being provided this opportunity to explore the Indian market,” says Dr. Oommen John from The George Institute for Global Health India who leads the Health10x program in India.
During their six days in India, these innovators validated how their offerings can actually transform health services delivery and improve outcomes in a real life setting. They visited local healthcare settings in Rohtak, Haryana, met healthcare workers and gained an understanding of the healthcare system in India. They also met with key officials at the National Health Agency and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to gain an understanding of health delivery systems and the regulatory environment.
“Our aim is to help scale-up and deliver products that will help improve the health of millions of people worldwide,” said Dr. Elizabeth Eastland, Director of Entrepreneurship at UNSW Sydney.
Five teams travelled to India – working on projects from new treatments for heart failure, to low cost point of care testing for diabetes.
“India is an emerging hub for health innovations and the visit will definitely provide them with perspectives on how health challenges can be tackled in low and middle income countries,” says Professor Vivekanand Jha, Executive Director, The George Institute for Global Health, India.
The start-ups were selected through a competitive process to participate in the accelerator and Indian market familiarization program.