AUSTRALIAN startup accelerator BlueChilli has partnered Enterprise Singapore (ESG) to launch a Singapore-based healthtech accelerator, as part of efforts to scout for and support startups aimed at addressing health challenges and opportunities in South-east Asia.
The BlueChilli healthtech accelerator programme will join forces with ESG’s Startup SG Accelerator initiative to identify new health tech ideas, both within organisations and startups, bringing them together to drive health innovation for the region.
The focus will be on early-stage startups. Applications for the BlueChilli HealthTech Accelerator will open on May 28.
The founders selected to build or advance their startup through the programme will gain access to BlueChilli’s technology development services, startup training, seed funding and global network of advisers and mentors for the programme duration of six months.
With support from Enterprise Singapore, BlueChilli has built a network of health and innovation partners from Singapore and Australia – including the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Galen Growth Asia – to be part of the programme. More partners, including local healthcare providers, are expected to come on board.
The establishment of a regional headquarters in Singapore will be a springboard for BlueChilli to launch other programmes in Asia, said Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin, CEO of BlueChilli.
“The bigger vision is to build the region’s top entrepreneur hub for healthtech talent,” said Mr Eckersley-Maslin.
BlueChilli launched an Innovation Centre in partnership with Coca-Cola Amatil in Indonesia last month to build regional capabilities.
The firm also has a partnership with Singapore-based Hatcher+ to invest in the next 240 startups throughout the region.
To support this growth, BlueChilli aims to operate in five countries by 2020.
“Our mission is to help people anywhere solve society’s greatest challenges with technology, so we are excited to extend our reach further into South-east Asia,” said Mr Eckersley-Maslin.
“By removing the barriers of access to technology and capital, we can help a more diverse range of entrepreneurs in South-east Asia bring their unique experiences and novel ideas to the global innovation ecosystem.”
According to a report by Galen Growth Asia, the Asia-Pacific’s healthtech sector is the second largest in the world for investment funds raised, after only the US. Last year, US$6.3 billion was deployed into healthtech startups in the region. This investment significantly exceeded the amount in 2017, and doubled that of 2016.
South-east 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.