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GE Healthcare sets up ‘five.eight’ accelerator to invest around $50 Mn in global health startups

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Healthcare startups have been receiving a lot of investor interest of lately. And now, a global giant – General Electric, has also registered its interest in the same. GE Healthcare, the health-tech division of GE, has announced that it will invest around $50 million in global startups.

It has created a dedicated fund of $50 million, which is aimed at funding healthcare start-ups in developing countries. Along with that, the company has also launched its first healthcare accelerator named as ‘five.eight’. The accelerator aspires to make healthcare affordable in emerging markets.

The company said that it would potentially invest up to $5 million per start-up to commercially scale up their innovations. The funding for each start-up will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. As a part of its accelerator program, startups will not only gain access to clinical mentors from GE Healthcare but funding and strategic partnerships from them as well.

Initially, portfolio companies belonging to Acumen Funds, Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group, Unitus Seed Fund and Villgro Innovations Foundation, would be the first to get into the accelerator programme. While applicants will be sourced from the four social impact investors, it will not be limited to those portfolios.

Tricog, a Bangalore-based startup has been selected as the first company to sign onto the program. It focuses on improving survival rate of heart attack sufferers in India by lowering the average time taken between symptoms and treatment. It has recently secured an undisclosed amount of funding in Series A from Inventus Capital Partners, Blume Ventures and a group of angel investors.

Explaining the story behind the name five.eight, the company’s executives said that it is estimated that more than 5.8 billion people in the world lack access to quality, affordable healthcare. Hence, the name five.eight.

John Flannery, president and CEO of GE Healthcare, said,

Through five.eight, our goal is to fuel the greater global health ecosystem, partnering with social impact investors and global health start-ups, in order to maximize impact and outcomes for populations with the greatest need.

We are looking at companies that have a proven model and market strategy. Being in India, we will have a partial focus towards Indian startups even if it is a global accelerator.

GE is now targeting ten start-ups that have already received Series A funding in the initial programme. The five.eight program is part of GE’s one-year old Sustainable Healthcare Solutions (SHS) arm which has operations at Whitefield in Bengaluru.

Terri Bresenham, President and CEO, GE Healthcare’s Sustainable Healthcare Solutions, said,

If you look at Tricog, it has a mix of different solutions it provides. The idea is to find startups that are unique, different, and have a keen understanding of the problems that need to be solved; hence, the focus on commercially viable solutions. We believe that the solutions provided by these startups can change and impact lives across the globe.


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