The need to share sensitive medical information is not only vital to patients and health-care practitioners, it’s also good business.
The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF) recently announced that it will support the launch of the health technology accelerator HATCH-YYC in Calgary to provide companies a platform to accelerate market access and improve patient care.
HATCH-YYC is the first health technology accelerator in Calgary. It will provide companies access to a privacy-compliant communication platform and the ability to integrate their systems with global industry leaders in healthcare as well as seek out collaboration opportunities with target patients and service providers.
The Board of Directors of OCIF approved providing HATCH-YYC up to $1 million over three years to graduating 20 companies by September 2022.
As its operations ramp up with OCIF backing, HATCH-YYC forecasts it will incubate at least 55 health-tech companies over five years and be a catalyst to expand Calgary’s health-tech cluster. It is expected those companies will create in excess of 300 jobs in digital health over five years.
“Our goal is to improve patient health and save lives by improving access to patient information for doctors, medical professionals and their patients,” said Rohit Joshi, Co-Founder and CEO of Brightsquid Secure Communications Corp., the Calgary company that is launching HATCH-YYC. “We want to bring the most promising health technology companies to Calgary to commercialize their products into the system and bring innovation to healthcare much more quickly than can happen otherwise.”
HATCH-YYC will be a collaborative workspace where health technology companies have access to a secure medical network to reduce costs and development times and enable startups to commercialize their offering much faster. In addition to local early-stage health tech companies, HATCH-YYC will draw in leading health care innovators from Canada and globally.
“HATCH-YYC is an initiative led by Calgary entrepreneurs who are passionate about helping digital healthcare focused companies fast-track time to market and reduce their costs to meet more and more stringent security and privacy laws,” said Barry Munro, Chairman of the OCIF Board of Directors. “This investment is intended to create a foundation for Calgary to become a global centre for health tech innovation.”
The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund was launched by The City of Calgary in April 2018 to support investments that spur growth and create jobs in strategic sectors identified in the Economic Strategy Calgary in the New Economy.
“Health and life sciences is one of the key areas we are focused on for Calgary’s economic growth,” said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who is a member of the OCIF Board. “HATCH-YYC will provide support so companies in our city can take advantage of the growth opportunities in this field.”
HATCH-YYC is the seventh submission to be approved for OCIF funding. To date, $23.4 million has been awarded to companies, although they must achieve specific milestones to earn the money. The OCIF funds have spurred commitments of more than $160 million in spending by the recipients and create in excess of 1,000 jobs