Accelerators to boost healthcare start-ups
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Bangalore: India’s first two healthcare start-up accelerators, HealthStart India Pvt. Ltd and InnAccel Pvt. Ltd, will launch their first programmes in July, seeking to guide young entrepreneurs in an industry that last year attracted the second highest amount of venture capital in India.
The HealthStart accelerator programme will offer around 25 to 30 modules in the areas of healthcare entrepreneurship and general business administration. “By following this curriculum-driven model, we would like to close the gaps in any area in which the founding teams might not have experience in,” said Vishal Bansal, chief executive officer (CEO) at HealthStart India.
The programme is being offered in partnership with the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, on the B-school’s campus. HealthStart was founded by Pradeep K. Jaisingh, Raj Airey and Suhail Chander.
Each batch that enlists in HealthStart accelerator will consist of six to seven start-ups, each of which will receive between Rs.5 lakh and Rs.20 lakh in seed funding. Participants won’t have to uproot themselves from their place of work because most modules in the programme will be offered virtually, said Jaisingh.
The key areas that the accelerator will focus on are technology for health, mobile apps, lifestyle disease management, affordable healthcare, wearable technology and remote monitoring and diagnostic devices.
HealthStart was conceived in 2013, with an initial investment of around $1 million raised from private investors.
ISB will participate in the accelerator’s next round of fund raising.
In Bangalore, niche healthcare accelerator InnAccel is also preparing for its programme launch in July. The accelerator will focus on medical technology, also called med-tech, and medical device engineering.
InnAccel, founded by medical care veterans Siraj Dhanani and A. Vijayarajan, will work a little differently from HealthStart—it will help would-be entrepreneurs take their business ideas all the way to a regulatory-compliant product company.
“The start-up ecosystem is biased toward IT (information technology) and technology, and they hardly realise that other sectors are also important...like medical technology is the largest sector in physical technology. We saw the gap and decided to bridge it for entrepreneurs,” said Dhanani, founder and CEO, InnAccel.
The accelerator plans to incubate between five and seven start-ups in the next two years.
“It is good to see healthcare-focused accelerators in India, given the traction that accelerators like Rock Health are getting in the US,” said Anand Daniel, principal at private equity firm Accel Partners.