An upcoming startup event promises to bring hundreds of Israeli and Indian entrepreneurs to collaborate in creating healthcare solutions for India. India’s largest startup incubator T-Hub has tied up with Pears Foundation to organise the first ‘India-Israel Med4Dev Hackathon’ from July 22nd to 24th, 2016. The organisers expect more than 150 binational teams to participate in the startup event that takes place simultaneously in Tel Aviv, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

Pegged presently at $100 billion, healthcare is one of the biggest and the fastest growing sectors in India. The two-trillion Asian economy is growing at a rate of 8 percent per annum. India’s growing middle has created a huge market for modern and efficient healthcare. The healthcare sector in India is projected to reach $280 billion by 2020.

Israel is a pioneer in healthcare and medical technology. The Jewish State has over 1,000 startups in the healthcare sector alone. Most of these startups have been developing solutions for high-end segment in the U.S. and other developed countries. Indian healthcare market, despite offering lower profits margins serving low and middle income consumers, offers big scope for scaling up of new medical products and solutions, due to India’s sizable and growing consumer-base.

“This hackathon will build bridges between the innovation ecosystems of Israel and India by providing a platform for entrepreneurs and industry experts from both the countries to work together to pioneer affordable healthcare solutions,” Jay Krishnan, CEO of T-Hub told an Indian newspaper. A statement issued by the organisers describes the upcoming ‘Israel-India Med4Dev Hackathon’ event in detail:

The [event] will convene innovators, entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals, designers, engineers, programmers and business professionals over a three day period in up to four locations (Tel Aviv, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai) in order to develop innovative ideas and prototype solutions (hardware and software) to address healthcare challenges of low and lower-middle income communities in India. (…)

Israel has over 1,000 startups in the healthcare sector, almost all of them targeting the needs of rich people in rich countries. India is a world leader in frugal innovation that targets the needs of mass markets in healthcare and other fields and is the leading country in the world in developing business models to serve low and lower-middle income consumer needs. We believe that collaboration on affordable innovation presents immense opportunities for both sides. To seed a pipeline of viable future ventures in both countries. The hackathon will enable sponsoring partners to identify promising ideas. The hackathon partnership structure will include a full range of partners in Israel and India that will provide mentoring support following the hackathon for teams with viable venture ideas, acceleration and eventual access to potential early-stage investors. (…)

Indian and Israeli engineers, entrepreneurs, product designers, healthcare professionals in all these fields. We aim for a minimum of 25 percent needs-knowers (healthcare professionals). In addition, we wish to recruit Israeli corporate teams that will use the hackathon to explore adaptation of existing medical technologies to meet the needs of the affordable healthcare sector in India. Teams will be supported by several dozen mentors, who will provide both on-site mentoring and virtual cross-location mentoring.

The participants have been invited to develop healthcare solution aimed at providing counseling and support for cancer patients, developing anaemia diagnostic tools for girl children, building monitoring devices for pregnant women and infants in remote locations.

The winners of the event will receive cash prizes along with the opportunity to be matched with leading investors and mentored by industry leaders. Successful entrepreneurs will also get fellowships and spots at startup accelerators. Selected Indian and Israeli startups will get a chance to pitch their ideas to leading Indian venture capital firms.

Bilateral trade between Israel and India has grown from around $200 million to over $5 billion since both countries restored full diplomatic ties in early 1990s. Indian multinationals have shown great interest in Israeli start up ecosystem; making big-ticket acquisitions and large investments in the Start Up Nation. Indian technology giants like Infosys, Tech Mahindra, Wipro and Reliance Telecom have set up venture capital arms dedicated to investing in Israeli startups.

Israel is also keen to engage with Indian students, researchers and young entrepreneurs. Every year Embassy of Israel in India sponsors selected start-up founders from India to participate in Israel’s flag-ship startup event “Start Tel Aviv” and connect with Israeli business leaders and venture capital firms.

Connecting talent and innovation of young Indian and Israeli entrepreneurs in the area of healthcare can become into great force for good, not just for India, but for developing and emerging countries across the world.

VIDEO: Promotional video for ‘India-Israel Med4Dev Hackathon’

[Cover image courtesy Pears Program for Global Innovation TAU, YouTube]