A second cohort of healthtech startups joins the Advance Queensland supported SunRamp Heathtech Accelerator program on the Sunshine Coast.
The Sunshine Coast is shaping up as an important healthtech centre, with significant growth in its health assets and digital innovation.
This includes the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, the Sunshine Coast Health Institute, the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Thompson Institute, the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast, the Peregian Beach Digital Hub and the International Submarine Broadband Cable Landing Station at Maroochydore.
Last year, with the support of Advance Queensland and Sunshine Coast Council, a special program was set up to assist Queensland healthtech startups scale up for rapid growth.
The 13-week SunRamp Healthtech Accelerator program provides key education, training and support designed specifically for promising healthtech startups.
SunRamp is modelled after a successful accelerator program based out of Boulder, Colorado – which has one of the highest concentrations of startups per capita in the United States.
A second cohort of four established startups have joined the program. The first cohort last year had seven startups. To score a place, companies must have an outstanding product or service and must be achieving initial sales.
With intensive business development workshops, business coaching and mentoring, the 13-week program is designed to provide the startups with an edge in a tough, highly competitive global market which is going gangbusters.
Partly driven by the pandemic, health service providers and patients are looking for clever, cost-effective healthtech innovations.
All around the world, hundreds of companies are building telemedicine apps, diagnostics containing artificial intelligence (AI), wearable gadgets that let people monitor their own health, and providing smart analytical tools for mining and translating complex health data.
The rewards are big. The sector is expected to reach over A$900 million1 by 2026.
The SunRamp Healthtech Accelerator program is designed to equip Queensland startups with the skills, acumen and contacts they need to home in on opportunities, including securing investment and increasing sales.
That’s good for business. It’s good for jobs. And it’s good for the economy. That’s why the Queensland Government has invested $180,000 in Advance Queensland funding in the program as part of the state’s economic recovery.
The four startups in this round are:
- Medmin – based on the Sunshine Coast, Medmin has developed software to improve the quality of medical record documentation in hospitals – improving clinical decisions and delivering, safe, high-quality care.
- Massage and Wellbeing – based at Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, the startup provides an online marketplace for consumers to connect with top alternative health care providers, including remedial massage, traditional Chinese medicine, and homeopathy.
- PsychHelp – based at Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, the telehealth psychology therapy startup has established an online platform enabling clients to see psychologists remotely for appointments over the internet in real time.
- Cogniom – a Brisbane based startup that has developed a technology that digitises time and motion studies. Called the TANDM suite, it incorporates an online dashboard and research software where results can be populated in real time. It set out to help health services understand workflows, calculate total cost of problems, reduce waste time, drive efficiencies and improve effectiveness – including improving operating theatre effectiveness and as such decreasing patient surgery waitlists.
SunRamp Program Manager Colin Graham said in the last six years the Sunshine Coast has had huge growth in its health assets, including the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and University of the Sunshine Coast’s Thompson Institute.
“There are real opportunities to grow more world class healthtech businesses in the region,” Mr Graham said.
SunRamp Program Founder Ron Hill said participants in the program are selected on merit and are initially required to complete a formal online application.
“Those selected for interview are required to ‘pitch’ their company to a selection panel of experts from the health sector and/or those well experienced with the nature of successful startups,” Mr Hill said.
“The first program officially kicked off on 8 June 2021 the final event concluding on 9 September. Whilst the first program may have now officially concluded, the participants still receive ongoing support from the SunRamp team.”
Darra-based PhysiGo Pty Ltd was one of the participants in the first program last year.
Managing Director Annamieke Wilds said the biggest takeaways from doing the program for her were the meaningful contacts and mentors she met.
“SunRamp provided valuable insights into the healthtech market in Australia and provided us information to fast track our growth as a startup business,” Ms Annamieke said.
“There is so much to contend with when starting a tech company and having people with experience to help guide us through our individual needs was extremely valuable.
PhysiGo designs and delivers AI wearable tech and thanks to their connection with SunRamp, the company is currently in negotiations with an international sporting brand.
“Our main focus has been in the running space – to identify and correct running form to avoid injuries, however most recently we have been trialling sensor embedded headgear which measures force and rotation in real time to assist in identifying concussion and sub concussive events,” Ms Annamieke said.
“There is a huge opportunity to bring monitoring to community sports where there is nothing currently available in the market.”
“The SunRamp program certainly assisted with providing confidence and structure to our pitch.
“We worked with some wonderful mentors who reviewed presentations, provided suggestions and supported us through these pitch presentations.
“Colin (Graham) and Ron (Hill) had our back – they gave us the confidence in moving forward with our products which was priceless!”
For more information on the SunRamp Healthtech Accelerator visit https://www.sunramp.co/.