Our experience through evaluation of over 200 healthcare deals in the last few years revealed a common pattern - a solid idea, backed by a great team yet not seed ready - challenged by lack of capital that could enable the company to progress to seed level. The startup’s development is throttled by clinical trials, prototype development, access to experts, access to data - all this primarily due to lack of capital and required network. Hence, in 2015, we added a component of non-dilutive capital to our investment structure primarily for healthcare deals. Our partner Pfizer backed us in bringing this capital as part of our fund.
Launched in February 2015, StartHealth Program is Unitus Seed Fund’s flagship healthcare initiative that aims to identify, nurture and invest in innovative startups that are driving affordable, inclusive healthcare solutions. Our StartHealth Program provides infusion of non-dilutive (grant) catalytic capital prior to seed funding and capacity building through our partners for early-stage startups.
What does the StartHealth program offer?
- Up to INR 1.75 crore ($250K) of non-dilutive capital to fund immediate pre-commercialisation business progress for 12 – 24 months.
- Up to INR 3.5 crore ($500K) of conditional seed venture capital that is conditioned on mutually defined milestones in order to achieve business progress and commercialization readiness.
- Support from Unitus Seed Fund and its investing partners to prepare for growth and raise scale-up capital.
- Hands-on support from Healthcare partners – PATH, GE Healthcare, Manipal Hospitals and Narayana Health and access to extended expert networks in India and globally.
- Access to Manipal Hospitals and Narayana Health’s facilities for pilots and market testing.
Areas of interest for catalytic grants/seed investment
- Innovative devices that have the potential to serve masses
- AI enabled innovations
- Home Health services for masses
- Health Insure-Tech
- Single Speciality clinics with capital light models
- Focus on delivering access to healthcare for the low-income masses in India
- Sustainably differentiated innovation across product, delivery or service
- Be within 12-24 months of being ready for commercialization
- Have the right team to take the product/service to the market effectively
Since inception of StartHealth, the Unitus team has run 3 editions of competitions, received over 600 applications, met over 200 entrepreneur teams and disbursed catalytic grants to 2 startups – UE LifeSciences and iMMi Life.
Our Healthcare Program Partners
Our partners bring invaluable global networks of leading healthcare practitioners and professionals, access to multiple teaching and operating medical facilities and more.
Pfizer is one of the world’s premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies that discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription human and veterinary medicines, and consumer healthcare products.
PATH, an international non-profit organization and a leader in global health innovation, works across five platforms to save lives and improve health outcomes – vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, devices, and system and service innovations.
Narayana Health is a leading national network of hospitals in India, effectively delivering high quality and affordable healthcare services to the Indian population by leveraging on its economies of scale, skilled doctors and an efficient business model, which provide advanced levels of care in over 30 specialities.
Dr. Michael J. Free, OBE, Ph. D., serves as Special Advisor, Healthcare to Unitus Seed Fund. He also serves as PATH’s senior advisor emeritus, and as a senior advisor to major foundations and leading NGO organizations including Village Reach, Intellectual Ventures’ Global Good, and the Lemelson Foundation.
Our StartHealth Investments
iMMi Life, a Chennai-based mobile cardiac services company, connects patients at clinics with cardiologists via mobile networks to advise on ECGs in order to speed up diagnosis and reduce deaths caused by heart attacks. Read more here >
UE LifeSciences UE LifeSciences has invented a patent-pending, low-cost, portable breast screening device, iBreastExam, which has potential to save the lives of millions of women in India through early-stage detection of breast cancer. Read more here >
If you are a healthcare startup innovating for the masses and are seeking seed funding, we would love to meet you! Apply for the Healthcare Seed Funding >