Medtech accelerator HS. is partnering with the Orthopaedic Research UK (ORUK) organization to create a fund to help find cures for those suffering from musculoskeletal disorders.
The fund will start by offering £100,000 ($127,600) to successful startup applicants.
The fund, named The Ronald Furlong Fund after ORUK's founder, will invest up to £100,000 for 4% equity in these firms, which HS. will take, in the chosen startups.
Specifically, the two partners are looking for "Rehabilitation solutions for musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions with a preference towards technology-driven solutions benefiting patients, having had or likely to require joint replacement surgery," but Orthopaedic Research UK says all musculoskeletal applications will be accepted. What's more, there is no limit on the number of successful applicants -- "quality over quantity," an ORUK representative noted in an email exchange.
HS. has been incubating young medtech startups since early 2018, with the startup accelerator now looking for its second cohort of startups after its successful first batch graduated last year. HS. aims to get medtech startups offering their products to customers, whether consumers, businesses or organizations like the NHS, as soon as possible, believing there is nothing better than getting constant feedback on an early prototype product. (See HS. Accelerator Launches First Cohort to Tackle Global Health Problems.)
VR can make a huge difference in musculoskeletal rehabilitation, because it psychologically distracts patients from their impairments. (Image: Jesper Aggergaard, Unsplash)
ORUK's CEO, Dr Arash Angadji, told TechX365: "We feel that innovation within the musculoskeletal arena is rather slow and therefore much more needs to be done to accelerate its process."
This is the primary reason why ORUK partnered with HS., Angadji added, because "the HS. founders have the appropriate background for an accelerator that deals with healthcare startups. Both individuals are medically qualified, are passionate about the cause and strive to make a difference in society. More importantly they are fervent supporters of the NHS, which means that any technology developed out of this partnership would have the potential to be effectively adopted by the NHS to benefit patients."
Naturally, a startup focusing on musculoskeletal problems would benefit hugely from partnering with an organization like ORUK, benefiting from "a wealth of experience and guidance available on both sides," Angadji added. Not only can ORUK offers huge advantages to any startup applying for the fund, but HS. can offer access to organizations such as the NHS, plus other private medical associations, non-profits, charities and organisations, which can set founders and startups on the road to success.
Finally, by collaborating with HS., ORUK can begin to understand the startup ecosystem from their own, medical perspective, "[enabling] our charity to efficiently identify and invest in exceptional individuals and ideas that can deliver game changing, and equally meaningful benefits for patients and the society as a whole," Angadji noted.
Meanwhile, co-founder of HS., Dr James Somauroo, commented: "By collaborating with ORUK on The Ronald Furlong Fund, we have created a formidable partnership that will select, support and fund the best healthtech startups in the musculoskeletal space. This will rapidly accelerate innovation in this field and ultimately improve outcomes for patients."
Guidance documents for interested startups will go live on January 28, and applications open on February 1, closing on February 28. All information can be found here.
Phil Oakley, Site Editor, TechX365