Startups working to prevent disease and improve physical ailments, mental health and fitness are among the nine selected in the latest intake of the HCF Catalyst accelerator program.
The nine selected companies present great promise for the health sector, HCF chief strategy officer Sheena Jack says.
“It tells you there’s an enormous amount happening with people looking at solving problems in a different way,” Jack tells StartupSmart.
“They had business ideas that link directly into our strategy.”
In line with its innovation focus, Jack says HCF’s investment in startups will drive them toward the health insurer’s ultimate goal of improving member experiences.
“The world is changing around us so the need for innovation is more significant,” Jack says.
She says the program, which is accelerated by Slingshot, is designed to connect startups in the health space with mentors, investors and partners through their broad HCF network.
Startups in the program will be taken through a series of steps to tweak their concepts before taking it to market.
“They’ll be refining their business models and clarifying the problems they’re trying to solve,” she says.
They’ll also be learning about their target market and the financials required in building viable ventures.
“We’ll be lining them up with partners who can provide capital to develop their businesses further,” Jack says.
Chosen startups in the HCF Catalyst are currently in induction and planning for product testing in upcoming weeks.
The selected startups include Curo, which uses the Internet of Things to empower those caring for the elderly and Cardihab, run by a team of CSIRO scientists.
Others include CancerAid, an app to simplify the lives of people with cancer, and LookFit, a health and fitness marketplace.
LookFit cofounder Jason Byrne tells StartupSmart he applied to HCF Catalyst because of its focus on health.
He says the offer of seed funding through a health tech accelerator paired with a large corporate that has access to “1.4 million members” was a perfect opportunity for them.
“It ticked all the boxes for us,” he says.
Byrne and his team plan to launch LookFit in April this year.
The opportunity to work alongside these startups is very exciting, Jack says.
“We’ve got a very talented group of participants and hope that it’ll have a great impact for both our customers and the health sector in general,” she says.
The nine startups selected for HCF Catalyst:
- Curo – IoT empowering carers with technology to improve elderly car
- Cardihab – CSIRO team helping doctors provide an online cardiac rehab program
- CancerAid – providing a digital health solution centred on oncology patients
- Mindfit – helping psychological patients find the right care and receive feedback on their treatment, progress and results
- Lookfit – known as “the iSelect of the fitness industry”
- Dream Well – Fit for Battle mobile app gamifies running to help motivate users
- CareMonkey – provides families with a shareable family health database
- Pulse Data Science – builds predictive models using historical claims and clinical data
- MyHealthTest – direct-to-consumer pathology test service