A NEW hub connecting startups, organisations and professionals in the healthcare industry opened its doors to the community on Monday.
The medtech hub, Catalyst, aims to quicken and improve the development of products and services that prevent or cure diseases. It is supported by healthcare clusters SingHealth and the National Healthcare Group, and innovation and enterprise office the National Health Innovation Centre. The third healthcare cluster, National University Health System (NUHS), is in talks to come onboard as a partner as well.
Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation initiative, officiated the opening ceremony.
Startups will have opportunities to be matchmade with clinicians and corporates, get mentored, attend workshops and take part in hackathons. Meanwhile, corporates and healthcare professionals can gain exposure to medtech solutions or start new ventures.
The 3,200 square feet co-working and events space sits within the Alumni Association Medical Centre on College Road, next to Singapore General Hospital and within close proximity to other healthcare and educational institutions at Outram Park.
Catalyst is the brainchild of Aardvark Labs, recently formed by medtech clinicians Lai Kah Weng, co-founder of Precision Medical and ex-chairman of the Alumni Association, Rena Dharmawan, general surgeon, Head & Neck at SingHealth and co-founder of startup Privi Medical, and Ian Mathews, an emergency medicine physician at NUHS and medical officer at startup Aevice Health.
Singapore-based open-innovation firm Padang & Co is the manager of Catalyst, responsible for curating startups and running programmes. The company also runs LEVEL3, a co-working space for startups launched with Unilever, with corporations such as Microsoft and Japanese bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group as ecosystem partners.
To date, more than 10 startups have established themselves at Catalyst, including ConnectedLife, a wellness and health technology startup targeting the ageing population, and heart disease detection firm eko.ai.
Membership prices for Catalyst start from S$50 per month, while the monthly prices for co-working space – which holds 46 seats – start from S$200 per desk.