Globalization, changing lifestyles, and urbanization have a significant impact on the health of communities in India and around the world. To address these growing health and social disparities, the Yale Institute for Global Health (YIGH) has partnered with The CoWrks Foundry and the RMZ Foundation to launch the Sustainable Health Initiative (SHI). SHI will build upon technology and local ingenuity by funding innovative start-ups to create social, health, and environmental impacts.
“The Yale Institute for Global Health’s partnership with the CoWrks Foundry and RMZ Foundation is based on a shared belief in the power of innovation in addressing pressing global health challenges,” said Peter Salovey, president of Yale University and the Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology. He adds, “Within the Yale community and among young entrepreneurs in India, the Sustainable Health Initiative will catalyze the development of solutions that can improve lives and society.”
Up to 10 start-ups will be chosen per year, over a five-year period. Each start-up will each receive $70,000 in seed funding, mentorship from faculty and alumni at Yale, as well as benefit from a network of Indian industry experts. In addition, the program includes structured sessions to help start-ups evolve a sustainable and scalable business model, refine their go-to market strategy and work with them to build a global network. Start-ups applying to the program will be evaluated on whether their solution is robust, affordable, and addresses pressing healthcare challenges in India and other growing economies.
“As the first signature program of the Yale Institute for Global Health, we are very excited to launch new and cost-effective solutions that will have a significant impact on the health of communities in India, the U.S., and around the world,” said Dr. Sten Vermund, dean of the Yale School of Public Health. “SHI will be a unique opportunity to nurture fresh ideas and provide real support to innovative approaches and business opportunities that will address our most pressing health challenges.”
Nruthya Madappa, managing partner of The CoWrks Foundry, also shared enthusiasm for the program. “Our partnership with the Yale Institute for Global Health is aimed at global knowledge transfer resulting in research that creates sustainable impact in healthcare not only in India, but also in the world’s emerging economies. With a large ecosystem that is growing at an accelerated pace, India is the perfect testbed for generating and promoting new ideas at the intersection of health, technology, environmental science, urbanization, and public policy.”
India’s tremendous economic development over the last decade has been accompanied by both new challenges and growing health and economic disparities. In addition to the burden of infectious diseases, India and other countries in the developing world must now address a dramatic increase in non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and mental illness. These conditions are heavily influenced by the social and economic determinants of health and by broader issues such as globalization, urbanization, changing lifestyles, and environmental pressures. Through the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, targets have been established for improvement in sustainable development, clean energy and water, economic growth and innovation, education, gender equality, and health and health access.
Funded by the RMZ Foundation, the initiative will bring together students and professionals to address areas including infectious and non-communicable diseases; maternal, child, and newborn health; water and sanitation; and, urban health and the environment. Start-ups will participate in a six-month accelerator curriculum at The CoWrks Foundry during which they will be mentored by Yale faculty and have access to a network of Indian industry experts who will serve as coaches to support the development of their ideas.
“RMZ believes in sustainable development and creating resilient communities. Through partnerships with The CoWrks Foundry and the Yale Institute for Global Health, our objective is to drive sustainable solutions in the Indian healthcare sector that can be showcased on a global stage by bringing together world-class education and expertise from industry veterans,” said Anu Menda, managing trustee of the RMZ Foundation. RMZ Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, was established to promote the well-being of humanity through three pillars of change — sustainable development, resilient communities, and urban innovations. The foundation's aim is to create equitable, inclusive growth and build resilient communities.
Start-ups chosen for SHI from India will operate out of the The CoWrks Foundry, situated within the CoWrks HQ at The Millenia, Ulsoor (Bengaluru). Interested start-ups can find the application on the YIGH website. Applicants will have to submit their forms before April 5, 2019.
The YIGH was established in 2018 to bring together expertise and knowledge from across the university with partners around the globe to improve and accelerate health and health equity for people worldwide.
The CoWrks Foundry, based out of Bangalore, is a premiere acceleration program for early stage businesses in the fields of urban tech, enterprise tech, and social enterprise. The CoWrks Foundry was built to inspire and enable entrepreneurs to build innovative, scalable solutions in tough industries through a challenging curriculum, developed with global experts and strong post-program support. The CoWrks Foundry provides entrepreneurs with frameworks, tailored mentorship, intelligent capital, and a deep network to build resilient technology companies out of India.