CDP Venture Capital Sgr announces the birth of VITA, the accelerator for start-ups developing new solutions or services for the Health sector, based on technological and digital applications. The programme is part of the CDP National Accelerators Network, the network operating across the territory to help the growth of young companies specialised in high-potential markets.
VITA takes shape from an initiative of CDP Venture Capital Sgr, through the Accelerators Fund, and is set up together with Healthware Group, a company in the portfolio of the FITEC Fund managed by Fondo Italiano d’Investimento Sgr (in turn controlled by CDP Equity) and a global leader in innovation and technology in the health sector and committed to financing digital health start-ups through the corporate VC Healthware Ventures – which will manage the project from an operations point of view -, and the Danish accelerator Accelerace, specialised in seed investments, with a track record of working with over 650 international start-ups and scale-ups, including more than 100 direct investments.
The programme also benefits from the support of Zcube – Zambon Research Venture, as Innovation Partner, and the Corporate Partners Petrone Group, holding of more than 30 companies in Europe, USA and Est Asia with a focus on pharmaceutical product distribution, biotech company service provider and active as corporate innovation catalyst, and SIFI, a leading international company in ophthalmology which, through an Open Innovation model, intends to invest in innovative digital solutions and therapies, thereby enriching its pipeline of drugs and medical devices.
Around 20 national and international Ecosystem Partners have already joined the programme, including major institutions such as Fondazione ENPAM and Scientific Institutes for Research, Hospitalization and Healthcare such as the National Cancer Institute – Fondazione Pascale of Naples.
VITA’s total assets under management for investments in the acceleration phase and for the subsequent growth steps will amount to 6.35 million euro, 4.55 million euro of which is allocated by the CDP Venture Capital Sgr Accelerator Fund together with Healthware Group and Accelerace, in addition to 1.8 million euro made available by the initiative’s corporate partners.
The accelerator aims to support the development of start-ups operating in the digital health sector and able to provide innovative solutions for the digital transformation of the health sector and the health system, including: digital therapies, telemedicine and digital health platforms, remote diagnostics and monitoring, mental health solutions and support in therapy management, as well as innovative drug distribution systems. A particular focus will be placed on innovative solutions for respiratory diseases, ophthalmology, women’s health, rare diseases, chronic pain management and more.
Up to 10 start-ups in the seed and pre-seed phase will be selected each year for three years, which will be able to access a development process structured by the accelerator’s partners, to be guided towards the validation of their own business model. The selected start-ups will also have access to a network of national and international stakeholders, as well as the opportunity to participate in sector events, including the Frontiers Health global conference.
Furthermore, the stand-out teams within the project will have the opportunity to access additional investments already allocated by the initiative’s promoters.
“The health sector is increasingly being featured in the Next Generation EU development policies and within the framework of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) technology represents one of the key elements to enable local health care services, proximity networks and the digitisation of the national health service”, comments Francesca Bria, President of CDP Venture Capital Sgr, “The pandemic has accelerated exponentially the healthcare digitalisation process that was already underway, and today it becomes essential to invest in the growth of start-ups capable of offering a new approach that puts patients first, and guarantees the safety and ethical management of health data that can be used to facilitate collaboration on demand and in real time between doctors and patients, from the hospital to the home”.
“The VITA accelerator is testament to Healthware’s commitment to contributing to the digital health transformation, supporting the growth and development of the most promising start-ups. It is indeed also thanks to the start-ups and their technological solutions that today we are able to accelerate the digitisation of the healthcare sector. To this end, we are proud to collaborate with CDP Venture Capital and Accelerace on this programme, which is one of a kind at the national level, with the aim of setting an international benchmark for start-ups and innovators in the digital health sector”, declares Roberto Ascione, CEO and Founder of Healthware Group.
“In the health digitisation process, Italy can play a key role by focusing on the growth and acceleration of innovative start-ups. We have therefore decided to leverage our experience in the innovation and digital health sectors and contribute to the birth of VITA to actively support the most promising companies and, at the same time, create synergies with the sector’s key players and leading companies, thus contributing to give a strong boost to the digital health ecosystem”says Paolo Borella, VITA’S Managing Partner & Head of Program.
“We are excited to be part of the team behind VITA Accelerator together with the strong partners. It’s our ambition to contribute with some of the key learnings and acceleration frameworks we have developed over the past +10 years of having worked with and invested in a large number of startups. We also really look forward to gaining new insights and learnings about the Italian startup ecosystem and not least the entire digital health space, which we see as one of the most interesting spaces for the coming years”, affirms Mads Løntoft, Head of Acceleration of Accelerace.
The VITA accelerator is based at Palazzo Innovazione, the Italian headquarters of the Healthware Group and a new co-working model in the historic centre of Salerno, while specific mentoring and networking activities will be hosted by OpenZone, the scientific campus dedicated to health on the outskirts of Milan – in Bresso – conceived by Zambon as a place of knowledge exchange to create unique value in the health sector, promoting a dynamic community and facilitating access to skills and capital.
Interested start-ups will be able to submit their applications until 12 June on vitaaccelerator.it.
The call is open to Italian and international start-ups intending to set up a registered office in Italy.