Fund for startups launches to drive innovation in healthcare

By Leila Hawkins
The fund will help up to four projects per year...

The Pistoia Alliance, a non-profit healthcare and life sciences members’ organisation, has launched a new fund to help healthcare and biopharma startups create new projects.

The Innovation Seed Fund aims to fund three to four new projects per year to research and develop prototypes and proof of concepts (POC), primarily focusing on ideas that help patients gain more control over their healthcare, emerging science and technology, research and development, and data standards and regulatory. 

It is hoped the fund will enable more POCs to be created, as many ideas never reach fruition due to a lack of initial funding. Additionally around 90 per cent of digital healthcare startups fail in their first five years due to lack of funding, not having a viable business model, or not having enough stakeholders. 

“The Innovation Seed Fund is to help advance ideas, develop strong business cases, and drive wider membership engagement into these projects” commented Kathy Gibson, Innovation and Investment Advisor at Pistoia Alliance. 

“In this digital age there are so many opportunities to enhance the patient experience, this fund helps to make these initiatives feasible, lowering the risk and costs for individual businesses. On average, a quarter of startups fail in the first year, the Alliance is dedicated to preventing this from happening to innovations that can empower patients and improve healthcare and biopharma for all.”

For the last four years The Pistoia Alliance has helped 20 finalists to raise more than $45 million in funding through its President's Challenge, leading to employment for over 200 people in the life sciences sector. 

“The Innovation Seed Fund enables us to help organizations bring together the skills and funding they need to start new initiatives in healthcare and biopharma R&D regardless of their size, lowering the risks for the whole industry” Dr. Steve Arlington, President of the Pistoia Alliance said. 

“This is a great opportunity for us to support companies and patient-led groups exploring new ideas and will give Pistoia Alliance members visibility of unique and interesting initiatives. By enabling more POCs to be created from early stage ideas we hope it will allow many to reach the point where they can go on to gain venture capital investment or further momentum within our community. Currently, countless great ideas never reach fruition as innovators don’t have the initial funds to develop a POC.”

Founded in 2007, The Pistoia Alliance members belong to the technology, life sciences, publishing and academic sectors. There are currently over 150 member companies collaborating on projects for the worldwide life sciences R&D community. 


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