Championing Social Entrepreneurship for Start-Ups

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15 September 2020

Pictured (L-R): The George Institute for Global Health's Dr Parisa Glass, MTPConnect's Caroline Duell, The George Institute for Global Health's Vesna Todorovski and MTPConnect's Dr Dan Grant, in the virtual podcast studio.

In our latest podcast episode, we catch up with one of our REDI partners, the George Institute for Global Health, an independent medical research institute focused on the world’s biggest health challenges, based in Sydney.

We discuss their Health10x Accelerator program and the opportunities it’s creating for Australian start-ups and entrepreneurs to deliver successful commercial ventures with maximum social impact.

Dr Parisa Glass, the Director of Innovation and Enterprise at The George Institute for Global Health and a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at UNSW, is joined by Vesna Todorovski, the Program Manager for the George’s Genovate initiative, to explain why Health10 X is an ‘Accelerator with a difference’.

Dr Glass explains that the George Institute for Global Health has “always been entrepreneurial in mind and our mission”.

“About two years ago, we established our formal entrepreneurship innovation program and called it ‘Genovate’, and this was to create structure around how we are going to help our researchers translate their work through commercialisation and to address those big unmet health needs,” Dr Glass adds.

“This program has evolved and now it has become a mechanism that we can use to champion the effectiveness of entrepreneurship in healthcare across Australia and globally.

“The partnership with REDI is really exciting because it’s helping us to develop a robust entrepreneurship program to reach innovators and entrepreneurs across Australia and give start-ups that are looking to address the biggest unmet needs the opportunity to succeed.”

Health10x has a particular focus on innovations that address major health challenges in emerging and underserved markets, particularly the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), like cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory illness - leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Hear about some of the promising start-ups going through the program now who are learning about social entrepreneurship, in partnership with UNSW’s Founders program.

Ms Todorovski says social entrepreneurship can be viewed as an innovation model underpinned by “profit with purpose”.

“Companies that are looking to translate, whether it’s a research finding or an innovation they’ve developed, that they’re looking to have a direct impact on people and communities,” Ms Todorovski explains

“So we absolutely use that line ‘profit with purpose’ and [people] understand that a social enterprise company, they have a social responsibility at their core.”

Listen for a really insightful discussion about driving entrepreneurship and innovation in healthcare.