Villgro and UBS-Optimus foundation launch accelerator programme for Healthcare Social Enterprises

In the frontline healthcare space, the program is seeking to identify models that improve primary care access in India by building a scalable community health worker (CHW) system.

Avatar Written by March 23, 2021 16:30
Villgro and UBS-Optimus Foundation launch Accelerator Programme for Healthcare Social Enterprises


New Delhi: UBS-Optimus Foundation & Villgro have partnered to launch a healthcare accelerator program to drive better outcomes among underserved communities in India. The program will support market ready, revenue stage, for-profit social enterprises working in the areas of Safe Surgery, Frontline Healthcare and Paediatric Cancer.

The program will identify scalable models that increase access to and quality of health services across the spectrum of care – from community, to clinics, to hospitals, thus improving quality of healthcare systems. The selected start-ups will be provided with access to corporate partnerships; strong business advisory and mentoring support during a 100 day acceleration program. At the end of acceleration, the companies will get a chance to pitch for investment to UBS-Optimus Foundation and other partners on demo day.

Sharing her thoughts on the program, Marissa Leffler, Health Program Director at UBS Optimus Foundation said, ”In spite of tremendous efforts from the government of India to improve access and quality of health services, 50% of Indians still live in areas without access to quality primary care and medicine. Such a program has a strong potential of supporting market based models in low income settings and enable health innovations that help improve access to affordable and quality healthcare to India’s underserved especially children.”

Speaking on the launch of the program, Mr. Srinivas Ramanujam, CEO, Villgro said, “The accelerator program seeks to enable acceleration of enterprises which are able to address some of the largest and untended areas of the healthcare system in India. Acceleration program will kick off with a diagnosis of key gaps and challenges in startup’s business models and setting out a customised milestone map for them. The intent is to create a pipeline of investment-ready healthcare start-ups working on innovative healthcare solutions by providing them access to funding, mentoring and partnerships support”.

In the frontline healthcare space, the program is seeking to identify models that improve primary care access in India by building a scalable community health worker (CHW) system. The accelerator program is looking for social enterprises focussed on capacity development of local health systems, tech interventions that improve linkage to health facilities and digitally empower CHWs.


Similarly, in the safe surgery domain, the enterprises should be strengthening access to secondary and tertiary health systems, promoting tech enabled interventions for early diagnosis and improving access to affordable surgical tools and technologies. At the core, the focus will be on improving surgery outcomes and skill development of surgical workforce.

In the paediatric cancer space, the program is seeking to enable social enterprises that strengthen specialized nursing skills and key sub-specialties as well as train frontline workers in early warning signs of cancer. Enterprises that improve access to oncologists, improve access to low cost diagnostic equipment and services like imaging facilities are also important vehicles for dealing with paediatric cancer.

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