Applications are open for health tech pitching competition MedTech’s Got Talent, with Victorian startups encouraged to apply.
The program is run by incubator STC and follows the success of the first program last year. Chief operating officer Laura Faulconer told StartupSmart there has been a boost to the prize money on offer for the winners.
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“One difference is this year, we have substantial industry support. We had some support last year, but more this year. Because of that, we’re offering a much bigger carrot at the end. This year, the top five get $20,000 each, with the overall winner getting an additional $40,000 on top of that,” Faulconer says.
It comes as interest in the sector grows, including meetup groups in both Melbourne and Brisbane, ilab hosting Australia’s first Startup Weekend for health, and Innovyz recently closing applications for its health tech accelerator program in Adelaide.
“I think Australia has a lot of innovative capacity, but there’s not a lot of support for actual commercialisation. There are a few missing gaps, especially around early-stage seed and VC funding. We’re trying to fill that gap,” Faulconer says.
“Victoria especially has strengths in devices, diagnostics, bionics and e-health, and they’re all eligible. We are also open to services, if it can be shown they are relevant.
“We’re not looking for late stage companies – if you already have substantial funding then this is not for you. This is distinctly not a research funding program for students – you’ve got to have market insights.
“But from napkin sketches right up to late-stage prototypes, you can use the program to refine the idea. What they need to do is to be commercialising the idea, and to show what the opportunity is and how it is a business or product opportunity.”
Startups that submit an early-bird application before March 30 can receive robust feedback on their application along with the opportunity to resubmit their application ahead of the final deadline. Applications for this year’s competition close April 8.
An expert review panel will select the top 30 contenders, who will each get a one-minute pitch in the Rapid Fire Round on April 16. Based on the pitches, eight mentors will choose the two teams they each want to work with.
Over the next month-and-a-half, each of the 16 semi-finalists will work with their mentors on refining their pitch, product development and understanding the intellectual property landscape.
Finally, at a gala dinner on May 21, the semi-finalists will pitch to a panel of 10 judges from major corporates and clinicians. Aside from the prize money, the top five will win a funded position in the STC Accelerator and will be able to present their ideas at a closed-door investor pitch.
Click here to find out more about the program or to apply. Applications close April 8.