Venture studio and innovation group BlueChilli has partnered with Enterprise Singapore, an economic agency under the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry, to launch a Singapore-based HealthTech accelerator to spur innovation and build startups that address health challenges and opportunities in Southeast Asia.
The Asia Pacific’s HealthTech sector is the second largest in the world for investment funds raised, after only the USA. Last year, US$6.3B was deployed into HealthTech startups in the region – this investment significantly exceeded 2017 and doubled that of 2016. Southeast Asia’s HealthTech ecosystem is still emerging within the region and poised for growth, with Singapore and Indonesia contributing to most of its notable deals in 2018.*
The BlueChilli HealthTech Accelerator will scout for bold ideas domain experts across Southeast Asia. The founders selected to build or advance their startup through the program will get access to tech development services at no additional cost, world-class start-up training, seed funding and a global network of advisors and mentors.
BlueChilli CEO Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin said the company’s establishment of a permanent headquarters in Singapore is part of its broader strategy to bolster investment in Asia.
The new accelerator will be a key driver in advancing BlueChilli’s work with regional talents in building globally-scalable startups that draw on insights and capabilities from Asia, in collaboration with private enterprises and ecosystem partners. Building up its activities in the region, BlueChilli launched an Innovation Centre in partnership with Coca-Cola Amatil in Indonesia last month.
“Our mission is to help people anywhere solve society’s greatest challenges with technology, so we are excited to extend our reach further into Southeast Asia,” Eckersley-Maslin said. “By removing the barriers of access to technology and capital, we can help a more diverse range of entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia bring their unique experiences and novel ideas to the global innovation ecosystem.”
“New ideas, innovative business models and emerging technologies coming out of the accelerator have immense potential to disrupt and transform the health industry and improve quality of life across the globe. I’m honoured to be working with the team at Enterprise Singapore to establish our HealthTech Accelerator and BlueChilli’s new headquarters in Singapore, one of the world’s leading hubs for innovation.”
BlueChilli has also joined Enterprise Singapore’s Startup SG Accelerator initiative with its HealthTech Accelerator program, the first dedicated to HealthTech startups in Singapore. Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore Ted Tan said the partnership with BlueChilli is a testimony of the strong collaboration between Singapore and Australia’s innovation ecosystems.
“The demand for quality, affordable and accessible healthcare solutions is rising rapidly in both Singapore and Asia, in part driven by the rising affluence and ageing population,” he said. “Partnerships with global intermediaries such as BlueChilli, who have the experience and expertise, can help healthcare startups in Singapore develop and commercialise products that meet the needs of users globally.”
With support from Enterprise Singapore, BlueChilli has built a network of leading health and innovation partners from Singapore and Australia – including CSIRO and Galen Growth Asia – to be part of the program. More partners, including local healthcare providers, are expected to come on board.
“In support of Australia and Singapore’s bilateral commitment to increased collaboration in science and innovation, CSIRO is proud to partner with BlueChilli in the provision of Digital Health knowledge to its first Health Accelerator cohort,” said Liza Noonan, ASEAN Director CSIRO. “CSIRO’s Dr David Hansen, CEO of the Australian eHealth Research Centre, will be the Accelerator’s Expert in Residence providing insights and mentoring to startups across the region innovating to address the biggest challenges in healthcare today.”
HealthTech startups use technology to develop products that make healthcare more accessible, affordable and efficient. Products could cover diagnostics, disease management, health monitoring and rehabilitative needs of individuals and be delivered directly to consumers or healthcare providers.
BlueChilli has invested in eight HealthTech companies, including hardware startups BindiMaps.com and Talkiplay.com, mammography AI diagnostics service Alixir.ai, telemedicine platform VetChat.com and out-of-home patient care platform CTARS.com.Applications for the BlueChilli HealthTech Accelerator open May 28, 2019. To register your interest, please visit www.bluechilli.com/sg/healthtech.