LuminaX unveils majority-female 2023 HealthTech Accelerator cohort

LuminaX unveils majority-female 2023 HealthTech Accelerator cohort

WIRL co-founders Alicia Holmquest and Bree Pagonis (Provided)

From helping orthopaedic surgeons virtually plan surgeries to improving people's mental health via curated meal plans, 11 innovative startups have been selected for LuminaX’s 2023 HealthTech Accelerator - an equity-free program giving founders the chance to score investment and learn from some of the industry’s top business minds.

Since launching in 2021, LuminaX has accelerated 21 Australian startups with $1.2 million in direct capital through venture capital (VC) partners, and its mentors’ network has provided companies access to more than 200 clinicians and experts.

The 14-week program is slated to kick off in two weeks on the Gold Coast, with 55 per cent of the cohort comprising female-led startups.

As part of the program, one or two startups will be offered a $100,000 cash investment, while one will be offered a $200,000 equity-based investment and product build services from Brisbane-based Aginic Ventures and Galatik.

Mentors in the 2023 accelerator include Vu Tran, who is the co-founder of edtech unicorn Go1, as well as Midnight Health co-founder Nic Blair and iNSPIRETEK founder Annie Flamsteed.

Last year saw VentureCrowd founder Steve Maarbani participate as a mentor, with his crowdfunding platform committing $50,000 to each company in the cohort under a diversified Health Tech Fund.

This year saw LuminaX receive more than 70 applications, half of which were received from outside of Queensland and almost 10 per cent from companies based abroad.

Of the 20 startups that advanced through the competitive application process, 11 were selected. The majority of them come from Queensland (6), followed by New South Wales (3) and Victoria (2).

One startup receiving support is dental solution Smilo.ai – a Brisbane-based company founded by Dr. Padma Gadiyar that is using artificial intelligence (AI) to provide oral health recommendations after a user has submitted images of their teeth.

Another company taking part in the accelerator is WIRL, a mental wellbeing platform that monitors a user’s mood and health needs so it can offer tailored diets and help people change the way they think about food. It was co-founded by Alicia Holmquest and Bree Pagonis, who are two dietitian experts with more than 20 years of combined experience.

“Through our own personal and professional journeys, we uncovered that people have a deeply emotional relationship with food, and would frequently say things to us as health professionals like; ‘I’m addicted to sugar’, ‘I can’t stop binging on chocolate after dinner’, ‘I hate myself after eating certain foods’ which unfortunately are all too common expressions and really devastating to hear," explained Holmquest.

“We took those insights, and have now built the world’s first mental wellbeing app that’s fuelled by food and driven by the gut-brain axis. It focuses on both the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of eating. It’s designed so that food is no longer a burden to our mental health but used as a vessel to improve our mental wellbeing." 

LX Health Director Dren Xerxa said this year the high standard and variety of startups who applied had greatly exceeded expectations.

“The quality of applications this year was very strong. Every Australian state was represented, which is evident that the growth of this industry is unstoppable, and the program is nationally recognised as a leading accelerator for healthtech startups” Xerxa said.

The 2023 LuminaX participants are:

  1. Smilo.ai - a computer vision AI-powered platform that connects patients with dental providers to facilitate virtual consultations, digital oral health check-ups, cosmetic consultations, orthodontic assessments, and treatment monitoring.
  2. OrthoDynamics - uses world-first technology to enable orthopaedic surgeons to virtually plan highly personalised surgeries, providing them with 3D printed anatomical models and surgical guides to assist in the operating theatre.
  3. Templa - helps individuals overcome the challenges of staying motivated and visualizing their future selves by using deepfake AI technology to simulate their future selves and provide a tangible vision of what they can become.
  4. Thermal Armour - provides a cure for perioperative hypothermia, the most common serious adverse surgical event in the world.
  5. Mend - provide digital solutions to help people with chronic/ongoing health issues manage and understand their health.
  6. YourTrack - help to easily detect vulnerable children whose development is not on track, so they and their families can get the support they need to reach their potential.
  7. Vertical Health - Accelerating the search & discovery process for hospitals and nurses to ensure that positions are filled with the most suitable candidate, and patients receive the highest quality care.
  8. WIRL - a mental wellbeing platform driven by the gut-brain, boosting the world's mood through food.
  9. Wellifiy - a patient success platform that helps healthcare providers & patients stay connected, engaged, informed, & on track through their care journey.
  10. MedApps - is a site specific handbook for clinicians - supporting orientation, engagement, education and wellbeing.
  11. Flintworks - a clinical grade Virtual Reality (VR) therapy platform for treatment-resistant mental illnesses, starting with PTSD.
     

LuminaX is based in the Gold Coast Health & Knowledge Precinct that is also home to Griffith University, the Gold Coast University Hospital and Gold Coast Private Hospital.

The accelerator will provide support to founders alongside major partners the Queensland Government, and City of Gold Coast and Industry Partners Griffith University, Mater Hospital, Aginic, Queensland AI Hub, and IntelliHQ.

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