Start ups

SA's first digital health accelerator calls for applications

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The accelerator programme aims to foster local e-health innovations into sustainable businesses.
The accelerator programme aims to foster local e-health innovations into sustainable businesses.

Digital Health Cape Town (DHCT) has opened applications for what it calls the first digital health accelerator in SA.

The organisation, which supports established enterprises that are at risk of being disrupted, says its new accelerator programme is designed to foster local e-health innovations into sustainable businesses.

Applications are open for local start-ups and digital health companies with a viable business in providing solutions in patient engagement, care coordination, telehealth, population health, clinical decision support, and behavioural and social.

The selected start-ups will enter the accelerator for a fixed period of 10 weeks, as part of a cohort of companies. Each participant will receive R150 000 worth of enterprise development funding and will have access to mentors from industry specialists, workshops, networking as well as exposure to local partners and investors, adds DHCT.

"DHCT's Accelerator Programme is an opportunity to unearth the exceptional talent and innovation we have in SA. The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) took the decision to participate on the panel of judges because it fits in with our mandate to stimulate technological innovation and we are excited to contribute to the growth of local digital health start-ups," says Karen Eksteen, programme manager: innovation skills development at the TIA.

The accelerator, according to DHCT, was established to digitally transform the healthcare sector, in response to the changing needs of healthcare providers and patients.

"There has been an influx of new, early-stage, innovative digital health companies coming out of SA. DHCT's new accelerator programme aims to assist companies to navigate continuously changing landscapes and grow into sustainable businesses," it adds.

DHCT says starting at the end of January 2018, 10 successful participants will undergo the programme, which consists of in-person and online mentorship by experienced entrepreneurs, healthcare thought leaders and academics, to enhance the participants' business knowledge and acumen from ideation all the way through to business and strategy execution.

Participants will also be equipped to build a defendable business plan and shape a viable business model to attract potential investors and funding.

Established digital health tech companies must apply before 5 December.

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