BlueChilli opens applications for accelerator targeted at aspiring founders in Asia's US$3.3b HealthTech sector

BlueChilli's programme director Seow Hui Hong with the company's chief executive Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin.

Venture studio and innovation group BlueChilli opened applications today for its Singapore-based HealthTech Accelerator, a competitive 6-month venture building programme designed for aspiring and early-stage founders in Southeast Asia.

The BlueChilli HealthTech Accelerator – developed in partnership with Enterprise Singapore, an economic agency under the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry – targets individuals in Southeast Asia with deep experience and insights in the health sector and who have an idea on how to radically improve health outcomes in the region using technology.

Fifteen founders will be selected for the programme and gain access to BlueChilli's venture studio to help them build their first product and gain market traction, with support from a world-class team of in-house developers and product managers.

According to CBInsights, 42% of startups who fail, fail because they could not find a product market fit. BlueChilli CEO Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin, an ex-weapons officer with the Australian Navy and an entrepreneur who sold his first startup, said BlueChilli's venture studio model was designed to mitigate this risk.

"BlueChilli helps founders with a great idea – but without tech experience – validate a problem they are passionate about solving and then build their first commercially viable product quickly, typically within four to six months," he said. "Once founders have established product-market fit, we help them find their first customer through our corporate partner ecosystem, secure their first investment, and establish their first team."

Since its establishment in 2012, BlueChilli has built 130+ startups and participated in three exits and one IPO. Startups in its portfolio have collectively raised $170M and contributed to the creation of around 1,000 jobs.

According to Galen Growth Asia, Asia's leading HealthTech advisory firm, funding in the Asian HealthTech sector reached US$3.3bn across 107 deals in 2018, US$550m more than the figure for 2017.

BlueChilli Programme Director Seow Hui Hong said, "Healthcare around the globe is undergoing an unprecedented transformation, driven by demographic and lifestyle shifts, emerging technologies increased connectivity and empowered consumers demanding more control of their health experiences."

"There is immense potential for HealthTech to radically improve individual and community health outcomes in Southeast Asia, with technology enabling us to put people at the heart of health experiences. We are calling on people who are deeply passionate about a problem in health, and think they have an idea to solve it, to apply for the programme," Seow said.

The launch of the programme today comes on the back of a string of announcements from BlueChilli about its growing investment in the region, including the opening of its new Singapore headquarters earlier this month and the launch of an Innovation Centre in Indonesia in partnership with Coca-Cola Amatil in April.