Young UK healthtech firms have been invited to attend a startup school being run by techUK and the British Computer Society (BCS) later this year.

The Healthtech Startup School consists of a series of workshops that will run every Monday evening between late October and early December.

The workshops are designed to inspire, drive and educate the next generation of healthtech companies, possibly acting as a catalyst for more innovation and creativity in the sector.

Attendees will hear from CEOs, business founders, entrepreneurs, technology professors and healthcare specialist advisers on topics that have been tailored for the healthtech industry, such as strategy, raising finance, team building, sales and procurement.

The programme consists of eight sessions and four ‘hands on’ business clinics, designed for delegates to test their ideas with business mentors.

The School is backed by Watify, a not for profit initiative supported by the European Commission aimed at helping entrepreneurs overcome their doubts about starting a business.

According to those behind the School, healthtech is often been perceived as an area that is difficult for startups and entrepreneurs to flourish in, with many citing the need for relevant and easy-to-access information, support and guidance.

Natalie Bateman, head of health, social care and local government at techUK, said its vital to provide entrepreneurs with expert advice if the UK is to increase the number of successful healthtech startups it produces.

“To be a startup in healthtech can often seem like an uphill struggle but with the right advice and support, the journey can become easier,” she said.

Dr Justin Whatling, chair of BCS Health, said: “There is no denying that working with a complex organisation like the NHS has challenges, however, we need to help entrepreneurs and small, innovative companies to get the knowledge, skills and connections to overcome any barriers.

“A key aspect of professionalism is learning as a community so that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past and so that we can rapidly share learnings and apply best practice – to be successful, startup companies cannot afford to do otherwise.”

The first Healthtech Startup School ran earlier this year between January and March. 

Justin added: “I heard many times in the last School participants make comments that what they learnt that day could be put into practice immediately and that otherwise they were not approaching things in the best way.

"That is what this School is about – building skills to put into practice – as this will maximise the chance that these new solutions they are working on will succeed for the benefit of the public and the healthcare system at large.”

Attending the full programme of eight sessions costs £119 for techUK or BCS members and £179 for non-members. It is also possible to join a single session for £20 per session for techUK or BCS members (£40 for non-members).

Many healthtech startups will be keen to see how they can take advantage of the newly-announced Apple Watch, which is predicted to dominate the wearables industry next year. 

Global healthtech and digital health investment doubled in 2013 to over £1.2 billion and PWC has predicted that the mobile health industry (mHealth) is expected to reach over £14bn by 2017.

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