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Slingshot and HCF partner to launch health tech-focused accelerator program

Slingshot, a company that runs accelerator programs for corporate clients, has partnered with health fund HCF to launch Catalyst, an accelerator program focused on health tech startups.

The six month program is split into two stages. The first is a 12 week ‘entrepreneurial education’ stage, which aims to help the startups develop their idea, while the second is more of an incubator, focused on driving business results.

The participants will receive a $50,000 investment in exchange for ten percent equity, and receive mentoring, marketing, and infrastructure support, as well as legal and financial advice. They will also have the chance to secure round investment of up to $100,000 from the Slingshot Venture Fund.

Like other corporate-supported accelerators, such as Slingshot’s NRMA Jumpstart accelerator, the association with HCF means that participants could have a ready-built market waiting for their product. HCF is Australia’s largest non-profit health insurer, covering 1.5 million Australians.

Sheena Jack, HCF’s chief strategy officer, said the organisation is delighted to partner with Slingshot on this initiative.

“HCF has a longstanding reputation as an innovator amongst Australian health insurers, so it is only fitting that we create new ways to nurture the people and ideas that will drive the next wave of health tech innovation,” Jack said.

Slingshot founder Craig Lambert said that the opportunity to work with HCF’s customer base will be “invaluable” for the chosen startups.

“The health industry is extremely innovative by nature, but this program marks the first time a major corporation has made this type of long-term commitment to nurturing startup innovation in the health tech space,” he said.

‘The accelerator will focus on ideas that impact the health sector in different ways, from improve access to information and the use of data analytics to preventative care and decreasing health care costs. We see so much potential for startups in this sector and we’re thrilled to be partnering with HCF to give entrepreneurs an opportunity to make a real impact in Australia’s health industry.”

The Catalyst accelerator will also include a ‘scaleup’ program, to help more established startups in the field gain access to a larger audience.

One can expect that the program will run much like Slingshot’s Jumpstart program, which has just wrapped up its second intake and also included a scaleup program. The potential benefits in a corporate-backed program are huge for both the corporate and the startups participating – NRMA President Kyle Loades has called the Jumpstart program a “logical extension of our ongoing quest to develop and offer new products and services to our members.”

The news comes after Australia Post announced its new innovation partnership with the Melbourne Accelerator Program at Melbourne University, worth $1 million over three years. The partnership will see two extra spots created in the Program, as well as a scholarship to the Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship.

Startups interested in applying to HCF Catalyst can learn more here.

Image: Slingshot’s Craig Lambert. Source: Supplied.





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