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$40,000 for the next big innovation in healthcare


Start-ups and entrepreneurs with the next big idea for the healthcare sector can now make their pitch for Westpac's annual Innovation Challenge.


Now in its third year, the Westpac Innovation Challenge is a platform for entrepreneurs to put forward innovative new solutions to further improve Australia's healthcare sector. The winner will receive $40,000 in funding to develop their solution along with support from Westpac and BlueChilli to help make their business a success.


Westpac's Head of Healthcare, Leon Berkovich, said the Innovation Challenge is part of Westpac's commitment to help make Australian businesses stronger.


"With the percentage of older Australians increasing rapidly, we expect to see continued growth in the healthcare sector as it looks to meet ever increasing demands. This growth also presents immense opportunities for innovation through disruptive technology and business improvement that will make the sector stronger for the future," Mr Berkovich said.


"Australia has a proud history spanning decades of being at the forefront of medical innovation. The challenge for entrepreneurs is to pitch the next big idea in health that could deliver greater accessibility, improve the quality of care and reduce growing costs. We're calling on Australia's best and brightest to put their minds to developing the next big thing for this vital part of our economy." 


For example, entrepreneurs might have developed ideas and technologies to assist with:


  • Improved management and use of patient data;
  • Ideas that improve practice management via enhancements in data integrations to third-party systems or new tools that reduce administrative costs;
  • Ways to reduce duplication and improve efficiencies in any area of the healthcare system;
  • New systems that streamline payments between providers and patients, and transfers from government funding sources;
  • Provision of more efficient healthcare access models using digital technologies; and
  • Education, skills and learning.


The Westpac Innovation Challenge has already unearthed entrepreneurs with game-changing ideas for the agribusiness and property sectors in recent years. This Challenge is one way that Westpac is fostering innovation to help make Australian businesses stronger for the future," Mr Berkovich said.


Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin, CEO of technology startup accelerator BlueChilli, said: "There are many opportunities for entrepreneurs to develop solutions using technologies like artificial intelligence chat bots, identity management and data security - all the things that you can't see but that drive solutions and enable innovation across the healthcare industry.


Applications for the Challenge are open from today until 19 June 2016. From these applications, five finalists will be selected to pitch to a panel of leading business representatives who will decide the overall winner. The finalists receive coaching on their pitch from start-up experts, BlueChilli.


The competition will award one winner a $40,000 cash prize and further assistance from Westpac and BlueChilli to help take their idea to the next level. A People's Choice prize of $5,000 will be awarded to the finalist based on popular vote.