Twenty-two top teams have been selected as semi-finalists of the HealthTech Supernode Challenge, an innovation programme sponsored by ChristchurchNZ, KiwiNet, and Ryman Healthcare. The Challenge is designed to identify and generate commercially viable solutions that address real healthcare problems with a special focus on the Aged Care sector and Rural New Zealand.
Exceptional interest from across the country has generated more than 128 entries from students, healthcare professionals, startup innovators, researchers, and large corporates.
The wide range of innovation was also incredibly impressive with products spanning from spinal fusion hardware and wearable digital rehabilitation devices to using AI for detecting diseases to employing VR for brain-damage recovery.
Alexandra Stuthridge Commercialisation Manager, Kiwi Innovation Network
The scale and breadth of participation were outstanding. It’s great to see such amazing talent and passion in these fields. The research projects and potential new technologies put forward have the power to help solve global problems and kick-start valuable new ventures, which will help underpin New Zealand’s future success. We thank everyone who took the time to enter.
It was a huge effort to get from 128 entries through to 22 selected teams and one that would not have been possible without the assistance of 20 highly skilled judges especially selected from the New Zealand healthcare and innovation community.
The semi-finalists will go through a 6-week pre-accelerator programme where they will be guided by experts from the Ara Institute of Canterbury-based startup incubator, Te Ōhaka, and ThincLab, the Founder Incubator based out of University of Canterbury’s Centre for Entrepreneurship. Over the 6 week programme, the semi-finalists will work through key development phases for their venture including market validation, product development, business models, investment, and more.
“Based on the amazing range and quality of ideas submitted into this programme, the next few weeks are set to be incredibly exciting as we support these teams through the pre-accelerator programme. The Kiwi entrepreneurial spirit is most definitely alive and well!”, says Rick Davies, Head of Technology and Innovation at Ryman Healthcare.
After completing this programme, eight out of the twenty-two finalists will then be invited to pitch in front of an expert panel of judges at the final Demo and Awards evening on 22 October at Manawa in the heart of the Te Papa Hauora Health Precinct in Christchurch.
Joanna Norris ChristchurchNZ CEO
The HealthTech Challenge has uncovered a huge amount of innovation, the ideas selected for the incubator have the potential to help drive economic recovery and create new high-value jobs. The expert support from Challenge partners, businesses and the health-tech sector will give the semi-finalists a launchpad from which to grow global-leading innovative businesses – all from here in Ōtautahi Christchurch.”
Thanks and encouragement go out to every innovator who took the time and made the effort to put in their applications. The standard of their submissions was excellent and many will be contacted directly by the Te Ōhaka, ThincLab, and ChristchurchNZ teams for further support outside of this Challenge.
The top 22 teams selected to enter the pre-accelerator programme are:
- AI-enabled Diabetic Eye Screening
- An Independence-Orientated Fall Prevention Platform
- BiSSkApp: Engineering Recovery for Swallowing Impairment
- Blue Mirror - Safe Donning and Doffing Virtual Assistant
- Clearhead - online mental health and wellbeing platform
- Developing a 3D avatar to improve health records
- Diagnostic, Implantable Sensor System for Spinal Fusion
- HT Systems Kera Transfer Aid
- HUD Shield™ - smart PPE
- Indoor Wearable Safety Device
- Low cost, a widely-compatible insulin pump
- Low-cost COPD diagnostic tool
- Neural Reality
- Power of Rhythm
- Robotic endoscope cleaning
- Teleophthalmology portal
- The NextStep™ in Neonatal Resuscitation
- Wearable Digital Rehabilitation Device