Australia-first accelerator bringing startups and government together

CivVic Labs, Australia’s first accelerator dedicated to bringing startups and government together to solve public sector challenges, is underway with the selected startups developing solutions for the Department of Transport, Western Health and St Vincent’s Hospital. 

Funded by LaunchVic, with additional funding from the Public Sector Innovation Fund, CivVic Labs seeks to simultaneously fuel the growth of early-stage startups while providing government with access to new technology-enabled solutions. 

Four startups have successfully been paired with government challenges, aiming to build their capability and connections in the government sector with an opportunity to secure an investment of up to $185,000 to develop the solution. 

Feedback on the CivVic Labs program has been outstanding so far, according to Dr Kate Cornick, CEO of LaunchVic: “As Australia’s first GovTech accelerator, CivVic Labs aims to apply innovative and agile startup thinking to government problems and in turn contribute to scaling Victorian startups and creating more jobs,” said Dr Cornick. 

Sandy Buchanan, General Manager at WeGuide, which is producing a digital solution to capture and report patient data to improve healthcare delivery for Western Health, said CivVic Labs was a fantastic inroad into Victoria’s thriving healthcare sector. 

“CivVic Labs has been an amazing side door entry to the public hospital system, and has provided invaluable exposure to the public health sector,” said Mr Buchanan. Mr Buchanan was also surprised at the appetite for innovation within the public health system, saying that the CivVic Labs has “demystified the government process”. 

“Usually the government procurement process means putting forward a solution that can be rolled out across the whole state – this process allows us to test a proof of concept and then explore how we could build it out across the system. This way of thinking is so different from how the public sector usually works, and it’s really exciting to be at the forefront of this revolution,” he added. 

“Every public sector professional we have met through CivVic Labs is highly driven and inspiring to work with. They want to be innovative and provide the best outcome with their patients, but their creativity is hamstrung within existing structures.” 

Michelle Thomas, Director of User Insights & Analytics at the Department of Transport, which is seeking a data-led solution to optimise public transport in Victoria, said CivVic Labs is providing an excellent way 

for government departments to “explore the talent in our startup ecosystem and test inventive solutions without taking a huge initial risk.” 

“The startup we’re working with, Envision Systems, has impressed us with their commitment to the project, and I think both sides are learning a lot from one another. It’s great to see these startups being exposed to a new world of opportunities and us within the public sector being supported in the application of more progressive and agile startup thinking.” 

The Challenges

The St Vincent’s Hospital challenge is seeking to reduce the number of hospital-acquired conditions (HAC) through the development of a platform that proactively predicts the occurrence of preventable HAC. Data analytics startup, Sky Ledge, is working on this challenge, which has the potential to positively change lives with 1 in 9 hospital admissions resulting in a potentially preventable HAC. 

Western Health is looking to improve the way that health outcomes that matter to patients are recorded in their Physiotherapy department. The startup, WeGuide is developing a digital solution that can capture and report Patient-Reported Outcome Measures to improve healthcare delivery. 

By being part of the CivVic program and working closely with startups, Western Health identified an additional challenge that could be solved through chatbot technology. As a result, an additional space has opened up for AI startup, Random Potential to explore Patient Reported Experience Measures in real-time. 

Department of Transport is seeking to understand how Victorians use public transport and overcome current public transport data silos and gaps. The startup, Envision Systems is working to understanding how Victorians use public transport (train, tram and bus) to meet future demand. 

About LaunchVic

LaunchVic is Victoria’s startup ecosystem development agency. We invest in organisations and projects that empower entrepreneurs to scale innovative companies, and deliver new industry benefits to the Victorian economy. At LaunchVic, we’re fuelling the startup ecosystem by supporting entrepreneurs and investors to sustainably grow and deliver economic and cultural benefits for Victoria. 

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