GE Healthcare, the $18 billion healthcare technology division of General Electric Co., will provide funding of up to $50 million for global start-ups under its new accelerator five.eight programme, aimed at improving affordable healthcare in emerging markets.
The company said on Friday that it would potentially invest up to $5 million per start-up to commercially scale up their innovations. GE’s funding for each start-up will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Portfolio companies belonging to four social impact investors – Acumen Funds, Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group, Unitus Seed Fund and Villgro Innovations Foundation—would be among the initial applicants for the first accelerator programme.
It’s estimated that more than 5.8 billion people in the world lack access to quality, affordable healthcare the company said in its statement. Hence the name five.eight, GE executives explained at the press conference to launch the programme.
“Through five.eight, our goal is to fuel the greater global health ecosystem, partnering with social impact investors and global health start-ups, in order to maximize impact and outcomes for populations with the greatest need,” said John Flannery, president and chief executive officer of GE Healthcare.
GE also announced that Tricog is the first company to sign onto the program. It is a Bengaluru-based start-up that focuses on improving survival rate of heart attack sufferers in India by lowering the average time taken between symptoms and treatment.
GE is targeting 10 start-ups that have already received Series-A funding in the initial programme. While applicants will be sourced from the four social impact investors, it will not be limited to those portfolios.
The five.eight program is part of GE’s one-year old Sustainable Healthcare Solutions (SHS) arm which has operations at Whitefield in Bengaluru.