VicHealth to use startup innovation to solve health food issues facing kids

Dr Sandro Demaio, Chief Executive Officer of VicHealth

A new partnership between VicHealth and LaunchVic, Victoria’s startup agency, will harness the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to advance the health of Victoria’s young people. Through the VicHealth X LaunchVic CivVic Challenge, aspiring founders and early stage startups are encouraged to use their skills to create a healthier future for young people.

What challenges are innovators solving?

Applications are open to be among 15 innovators who will find solutions for two challenges:

  • Improving young people’s access to healthy food in their community
  • Exposing unhealthy food advertising targeted at young people

As a part of CivVic Labs by LaunchVic, selected founders participate in a pre-accelerator experience where they will co-design their solutions with VicHealth policy experts, supported by mentors and business acceleration workshops, and receive $10,000 equity-free funding.

What are the executive thoughts on the program?

At the end of the six-week program, founders have the chance to apply for a further $25,000 in seed funding to bring their idea to market. HealthTech is Victoria’s largest startup subsector, with 1 in 5 startups working in  this space. LaunchVic CEO Dr Kate Cornick said the VicHealth partnership would  support the next generation of founders entering the sector.

“CivVic Labs brings startup thinking to social problems and gives aspiring founders a chance to test out a business idea with a real end-user. For government, the program provides a unique and tailored access point for early-stage startups into Victoria’s $10.5 billion early-stage startup ecosystem and  insight into lean startup methodology,” she said.

VicHealth CEO Dr Sandro Demaio said startups have a vital role to play in HealthTech innovation. “This is a great opportunity to apply co-design principles to drive youth-led solutions that address some of the biggest health challenges facing our kids. We can’t wait to hear from Victoria’s startup community to help build a healthy Victoria where kids thrive.”