The Victoria Government in Australia recently
announced new funding to accelerate the growth of health startups and
capitalise on the strong medical industry in Victoria.
“Victoria is a
leader in innovation and a leader in medtech and pharma – we want to combine
these to create new companies and medical technologies that could enhance or
save lives,” said Minister for
Health Ms Jill Hennessy.
Currently, Victoria’s health sector contributes A$30 billion
each year to the state and is the largest and fastest growing source of
employment. The recently released 2018 Global Startup Genome report
named Melbourne one of the world’s most important global health and life
“We want to use our
strengths in health and life sciences to create more successful startups and
boost local jobs,” said Minister
for Innovation and the Digital Economy Mr Philip Dalidakis.
Delivered by Victoria’s startup development agency
LaunchVic, the funding will support accelerator and education programs
focused on the health sector – including medtech, biotech, pharma, health and
aging services and disability services.
LaunchVic is seeking to invest up to A$1 million per
application for Accelerator
programs that run up to three years and are focused specifically on
the Health Startup Sector. LaunchVic will accept applications for up to A$3 million only if they are exceptional. It would
particularly welcome accelerators that are led by or partner with Victorian
Hospitals as these provide more opportunities for innovation pull and
validation of health startup problems.
It will also invest up
to A$250,000 per application for founder and investor education
services dedicated to the Health Startup Sector including but not limited to: founder education programs on
commercial strategy; reimbursements; domestic, international regulatory
environments and other programs; and investor education for angels focused on the Health Startup
A preference will be given to accelerators that are led by
or partnered with Victorian hospitals. Applications for funding will close on 5
In Victoria, 11% of startups and scaleups are health and
wellbeing companies. These businesses account for 26% of startup jobs,
disproportionately larger than any other industry in Victoria’s startup sector.
According to LaunchVic
CEO Dr Kate Cornick, leveraging
Victoria’s strengths and supporting startups that are focused on health will
further position Victoria as an internationally leading health startup hub.
Earlier this week, LaunchVic also released a new report titled
State of HealthTech that looks at what needs to be done to maximise this
important sector and create economic benefits for Victorians. The report found that
57% of health startups do not know where to go to access the support needed to
grow and another 42% do not know how to identify or locate investors.
The report also provided recommendations to
address these gaps, including more assistance for health startups entering the
startup world and using experienced HealthTech entrepreneurs and experts as
consultants and mentors.