Australian Medical Angels — a clinician-focused angel network — will launch a dedicated Victorian branch and invest up to $2 million in ten early-stage healthtech startups from Victoria after receiving funding from the state government’s startup agency, LaunchVic, to support its thriving life science startup community.
Angel networks play a vital role in supporting early-stage startups seeking capital (usually between $100k and $1 million), mentorship, and business development networks.
The five-year-old LaunchVic has contributed $300,000 in support of Australian Medical Angels, which according to LaunchVic CEO Kate Cornick, is part of a coordinated effort to close the early-stage funding gap in Victoria.
“Quality angel investments are a lifeline for early-stage startups and critical to supporting startups to grow,” Ms Cornick said.
“HealthTech is now Victoria’s largest startup sector, and our latest investment establishes the first LaunchVic funded sector-specific angel network to help drive success in our life sciences startups.
In the past two years, LaunchVic funding to Angel groups has led to the recruitment of more than 180 investors who have invested $4.2 million into 26 Victorian startups.
“The networks have played an important role in developing the Victorian startup ecosystem – pumping capital directly to startups in a structured and purposeful way at the critical early stages,” Ms Cornick added.
Eugene Labs Founder and CEO Kunal Kalro said the Australian Medical Angels would be instrumental in building the future of healthcare by supporting early-stage MedTechs in Australia’s Life Science capital.
“Eugene was born to bring the power of genomics into the homes of billions of people around the world,” Mr Kalro said.
“Australian Medical Angels has a first-hand understanding of HealthTech challenges, and the right connections, advice and operational expertise that will help Victoria’s sector scale globally.”
With the addition of Australian Medical Angels, LaunchVic has funded seven Angel networks, including Angel Partners, Archangel Ventures, Impact Investment Group, Innovation Bay Angel Network, Scale Investors and Flying Fox Ventures.
Victoria’s Healthtech Landscape
HealthTech is Victoria’s largest startup industry, with one in every five startups focusing on health, and Melbourne draws over 40% of the nation’s Life Sciences financing each year.
The healthtech industry is also a major source of new job opportunities. According to Startup Genome’s, The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2021, Victorian healthtech companies added new jobs 55 per cent faster than the already outperforming healthcare sector (9.7 per cent growth) in 2020. They were one of three key sectors responsible for more than half of new startup jobs created in the state of Victoria.
In the last year, as health-related industries have occupied ever-greater swaths of global attention, the state government established the Breakthrough Victoria Fund, with $2 billion dispersed over ten years to benefit the health and life-sciences sectors as well as four other industries.
The announcement comes as Melbourne was just announced as in the top 10 per cent of Life Science startup ecosystems in the Startup Genome Life Sciences report. The goal for Life Sciences beneficiaries is commercialisation — translating discoveries from labs to startups and other businesses and, in the process, improving global health.
“To build the next generation of moonshot companies right here in Victoria, early-stage investment from organisations like Australian Medical Angels is absolutely essential,” Mr Kalro said.