HCF launches fourth Catalyst accelerator program

Latest News

Australian entrepreneurs are being offered support to solve some of the most common health problems through HCF's Catalyst accelerator program.

The 12-week Catalyst program, in partnership with Slingshot, is in its fourth year. It offers participants access to HCF mentors and hands-on resources such as funding, industry relationship-building, and strategic guidance to turn their ideas into investment-ready businesses.

The program is now accepting applications from entrepreneurs, experts and other specialists interested in building a health technology business.

“Our vision for the Catalyst program has always been to support innovation in health care so we can drive better health outcomes for Australians. By continuing to support the latest technologies and innovative business models we can generate real life solutions for health issues that affect the wellbeing of our members,” said HCF CEO Sheena Jack.

In 2018, Tamworth-based Startup and Catalyst alumni BirthBeat secured a partnership with HCF to bring its online antenatal education classes to market to provide accessible education for rural and busy families. 

“HCF Catalyst has given BirthBeat exposure and opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. The partnership with HCF has taken the business to a new level,” said founder and registered midwife Edwina Sharrock.

In its first three years, the Catalyst program has seen 18 startup graduates secure $9.5 million in funding so far, from HCF and other investors. The program has also supported 11 scaleups on the journey to becoming sustainable businesses.

“We’re pleased that the majority of our graduates have been funded or are growing to a stage where they can trial their offerings with our members. We have started working with HCF Catalyst alumni to integrate their health tech solutions into our products. The program’s graduates have demonstrated that they can help us provide more value to our members,” said Ms Jack.

An HCF staff pilot has been planned with Catalyst graduate Soldier.ly. It is a smart device buddy system for at-risk veterans.

CEO of Soldier.ly Chris Rhyss Edwards said the program transformed his business idea from a self-reporting app to a smart device app that detects signs of stress before the user is aware of them.

“I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in a program that provides mentoring, strategic guidance and infrastructure support to Australian entrepreneurs, like myself, who are looking to transform health care space. It was through the support from the HCF Catalyst program that I was able to turn my business idea into the Soldier.ly app,” said Mr Edwards.

“We are thrilled to launch the fourth year of Catalyst in partnership with HCF,” added chief program director of Slingshot, Ben Hutt.

“Health tech Startups are different as their purpose ultimately improves the lives of patients across Australia. As we enter our fourth year of health tech accelerators with HCF, we’ve enjoyed working with them to create a long term strategy for innovation delivering a world class supply of new technologies and services that will improve the quality, accessibility and effectiveness of health and medical solutions,” said Mr Hutt.