Research meets enterprise to build tomorrow’s health tech solutions
SYDNEY, OCT 30 - A device that minimises bed sores by automatically monitoring and turning bedridden patients; a portable, ultra-efficient microscope for the rapid detection of communicable diseases; and an affordable device to save the lives of people with heart failure – these and other innovative health solutions will be showcased to investors today at the Powerhouse Museum.
The event is the culmination of a new and unique 20-week healthtech accelerator program Health10x, delivered by the UNSW Sydney’s Founders Program, in partnership with The George Institute for Global Health. Launched in May, Health10x is working with startup teams developing solutions for some of the world’s biggest health burdens, and its contribution has been recognised with a $295k grant from the government’s Incubator Support initiative, announced by Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews last week.
Principal Director of The George Institute, Professor Stephen MacMahon said the initiative was aiming to empower the brightest minds in medical research with disruptive entrepreneurship skills, to create successful commercial ventures that have global potential.
“Chronic and non-communicable diseases are leading causes of death and disability globally, and particularly in emerging markets and low-resource populations,” said Prof MacMahon. “Australia has a wealth of talent – we’ve seen game-changing medical innovations developed here and then become successful globally. Health10x is using tech innovations to find answers for some of the biggest health problems we face, and helping take those solutions to the people who need them most.”
Health10x harnesses UNSW Entrepreneurship’s successful suite of accelerator and incubator programs, and The George Institute’s expertise in clinical trials and public health research. Fifteen health startups – founded by staff, students or alumni of UNSW and The George – took part in the ten-week pre-accelerator program, with five teams progressing to a ten-week advanced accelerator that included targeted health and commercialisation modules, mentorship, and immersive visits to India and San Francisco (US).
The five Health10x teams will join six other startups participating in the 10x Accelerator program to pitch their innovative ideas and prototypes to an audience of over 250 researchers, engineers, investors, and key figures from Sydney’s startup ecosystem. investors:
- Attoquest - a novel ‘plug and play’ microscope that can accurately measure pathogens in minutes
- Beacohealth – an automatic patient-turning device that reduces and prevents pressure sores
- Bio-Sens Tech – a low-cost and pain-free saliva test for fast insulin detection
- CardioBionic – an affordable temporary device for patients with heart failure
- Evidentli - cloud software that improves clinical research data
Director of Entrepreneurship at UNSW, Dr Elizabeth Eastland said that the first of its kind partnership would connect entrepreneurial researchers and professionals to the industry mentorship and funding sources they need to navigate the critical early stages of startup and, through the Founders Program, provide the ongoing support they’ll need to scale into global companies.
“Through the Health10x partnership UNSW is able to make good on its commitment to ensuring that world class research realises its full potential, for the benefit of communities in Australia and globally. With the expertise of The George Institute and the ongoing support of the startup ecosystem and investor community, Health 10x will make health solutions accessible, scalable and sustainable.”
The Health10x accelerator will continue in 2020, with the next round of health startups working on innovative and tech-based solutions to address the world’s biggest health burdens.
The George Institute for Global Health
The George Institute for Global Health is an independent medical research institute aiming to improve the health of millions of people worldwide by generating effective, evidence-based and affordable solutions to the world’s biggest health challenges. Headquartered in Sydney, with major centres in China, India and the UK, it has projects in more than 50 countries and affiliations with world-class universities. In 2018, The George Institute was ranked the number-one independent research institute in Australia by Times Higher Education.
UNSW Founders Program
UNSW Sydney is Australia’s premier entrepreneurial university, graduating more technology entrepreneurs than any other. The Founders Program is UNSW’s platform to embed entrepreneurship on campus through a comprehensive suite of 11 initiatives. Open to all students, staff and alumni, these initiatives expose thousands of participants to entrepreneurial thinking each year while identifying exceptional entrepreneurial talent and supporting them to build and scale real companies. So far, the Program has assisted nearly 1,000 startups and projects to grow, representing the largest pipeline of technology startups in Australia. The Program’s flagship initiative, 10x Accelerator, supports 20 high impact startups each year through a rigorous 10 week program that includes masterclasses, mentorship and funding. Applications for cohort 5 open 30 October 2019.