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Seven entrepreneurs working on tech-based solutions to global health challenges are learning the tools to take their ideas to international markets thanks to a new Sunshine Coast accelerator program.

The SunRamp Health Technology Accelerator Program provided 12 weeks of education, training and mentoring for health technology businesses focused on building pathways to revenue.

The program’s first intake has recently wrapped up, with owners empowered to secure new deals, generate diverse income streams, and scale their business in national and international markets.

SunRamp was founded by entrepreneur Ron Hill who recently moved from Boulder in the United States to the Sunshine Coast. An entrepreneurial spirit, fast-growing health sector and a track record in healthcare innovation made the Sunshine Coast the perfect choice for the accelerator.

The first cohort attended six workshops run by international entrepreneurs, professional service firms and investors, supplemented by personal coaching, technology development support and introductions to international connections in Colorado and Shanghai.

Healthtech accelerator

Image: SunRamp team - Ron Hill, Tanya Arnold, Colin Graham.

Leveraging market opportunities

Colin Graham, Program Manager – and previously the Founding CEO of the Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast – said that a strong focus was on understanding market opportunities and supporting participants to go global.

“Starting a business is tough; it’s a real challenge to launch and quickly grow a new venture. Health is one of the more challenging sectors because it can be conservative and risk-averse. We work with businesses to help them identify the right market and customers, build evidence of product impact and tune their product and message to pitch for new business,” Colin said.

“We have expertise in every business function from marketing to HR and sales. Many of the businesses we work with need to raise significant investment to grow the business and we’ve connected participants with local angel investors and venture capitalists who are seeking to invest. 

Tanya Arnold completes the core SunRamp team, bringing sector development expertise gained in her role with the Food and Agribusiness Network.

The seven businesses

Shieldlabs: Developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shieldlabs have developed the only face shield designed to address the needs of anaesthetists during an intubation procedure.

Bundle of Rays: Uses VR and AR to create a readily scalable learning platform that can be used to improve both training and patient care without the need for face-to-face teaching.

Entag: Provides scalable technology health solutions that digitise healthcare to maximise accessibility and standard of care for everyone.

Physigo: Aims to become the world leader in innovative AI-driven wearables which provide performance and wellbeing solutions to people in the sports and health markets.

Bebodeze: A platform that supports ostomates (people who have had had lifesaving ostomy surgery) to track post-surgery progress and find their new normal.

HEROIQ: Aims to replace paper-based T-Cards and Incident Management Boards used by Fire and Emergency services while offering data insights to emergency teams.

PUML Better Health: A corporate wellness challenge program created to gamify health and wellbeing for corporates and brands.

Image: Cohort One group shot at Vitality Village, venue for final PROGRESS event.

Impressive line-up of mentors

SunRamp is led by a strong team with extensive experience and knowledge. The mentor panel consists of 17 members with impressive credentials, including Dr Tony Keating, CEO of ASX listed ResApp Health, Stephen Stoyan, Director of Digital Health at Orion and Kathryn Foster, Managing Director at macroDATA Digital Solutions and a former senior executive with Microsoft in Seattle.

The program commenced with a ‘Start with the end in mind’ workshop focusing on personal and business objectives and exit opportunities by entrepreneur and program participant Janine Garrett. Janine shared how she grew Charm Care, an IT solution that manages every aspect of a patient’s journey with cancer from concept to an in-demand software company that later sold for $8.2 million.

Tapping into a $96 billion market

“There are massive opportunities for healthtech businesses,” says Colin. “The global healthtech market is valued at around $96 billion and growing at a rate of about 14-15% per year. By 2026 it will be worth $221 billion. There’s also a COVID-effect where we have seen a significant increase in the adoption of new technology, even from industries that are traditionally slower to adapt.”

“The health sector is already the number one employer on the Sunshine Coast. We have great assets in our hospitals, universities and research institutes and the region is becoming known as an innovation and entrepreneurship hotspot. We are working to leverage connections between the Sunshine Coast and US innovation hotspots like Colorado, as well as Asian markets, to open up opportunities and enable local healthtech businesses to tap into global opportunities.”

SunRamp facilitators will mentor the participants for another 6 months to provide support beyond the intensive initial phase and monitor growth, profitability and investment raised.

Watch this space as these start-ups make a name for themselves in the highly competitive healthtech sector.

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