The inaugural Future of Health accelerator at The Landing in Salford has been hailed a success after almost every participating firm secured new investment or business opportunities.
Delivered by a partnership between The Landing, PwC and tech investment and accelerator specialists UP, the 12-week programme – which commenced in April – aimed to help nine fast-growth start-ups and scale-ups within the health and medical sectors.
Support included help setting KPIs aligned to increasing revenue growth and advice around how to secure market traction through engagement with corporates and commissioning bodies.
Participating companies also enjoyed executive-level introductions through an extensive network of thought leaders, industry executives and health-tech specialists.
Those taking part also got the opportunity to pilot their new technologies, and pitch their proposition, to healthcare organisations and potential investors.
The Landing’s Maya Dibley (pictured above) said: “The Landing has been developing a specialism in digital health over the last 18 months and we were fully geared up to help drive this dynamic accelerator from day one.
“Further, as creating jobs and generating economic value locally is at the heart of The Landing’s remit, the fact that at least one of the participating businesses is thinking of moving to Manchester as direct result of this programme is a great outcome.”
Successes include London-based tech homecare provider Cera closing a £2.7 million seed funding round and establishing 15 partnerships with NHS organisations and councils.
Hertfordshire’s 11 Health, which has developed a self-reporting ‘smart’ colostomy bag, has held active discussions with Salford Royal Hospital to pilot the product.
Manchester’s Aerobit has created an IoT-enabled asthma inhaler, closed an investment round from existing investors and is working towards a further significant seed round.
Cambridge’s Altogame – specialists in behavioural research conducted through multiplayer virtual online games and learning simulations – has entered negotiations to secure pilot projects in the Alder Hey Hospital Innovation Hub. Altogame is also in talks to supply another major North West NHS Trust, a North West London NHS Trust, a large financial services group and a global consulting company.
London-based Kafoodle has entered talks with a CCG to develop a healthy eating programme and is also speaking with various hospitals and care homes. The firm is now thinking of setting up a Manchester office as a result.
Other London companies, such as ImproveWell (formerly Propeller), HiMotiv and Uniquedoc, have secured new contracts and pilot schemes, while Australian-based WellCare – which provides a remote medical second opinion service – has obtained contracts with a number of healthcare providers and have been approached for a joint venture with a global technology company.
Danny Meaney, CEO of UP, said: “The fact that all nine participating Future of Health companies either secured new investment, have been commissioned for NHS-sponsored pilot projects, or have been introduced to potential new corporate customers like Bupa, is very unusual from a single cohort.
“The combination of PwC’s professional networks, UP’s extensive experience in accelerating business growth, and The Landing’s superb tech facilities, has clearly really enhanced the programme, and helped deliver these stunning results.”
Ali Moiyed (pictured above), CEO of Ardwick-based Aerobit, said: “It was really tough to get on the programme and we were surrounded by companies from London, Cambridge and even Sydney who all had brilliant products with immense commercial potential.
“However, with the help of UP and the other partners, we were able to develop our proposition and close on a major round of funding. We are now aiming much higher, and are working closely with UP to raise a further seed round from Health tech investors.
“We would not have got to this point as quickly without this accelerator, and it’s been great working with PwC, The Landing and the rest of the cohort as the process has genuinely transformed our business in just three months.”
Tom Hoskin, PwC SCALE programmes lead, said: “The Future of Health programme demonstrates the importance of linking startups with large organisations and the mutual opportunities collaborating can bring.
“Working with the founders and connecting them to our network of clients, specialists and industry leaders has been immensely rewarding for all involved and we continue to support the alumni as they continue on their growth journey.”