Feb 15, 2022 Singapore

Desafía Singapore applications opening soon

Desafía Singapore applications opening soon

MedTech Actuator is supporting Spain’s next wave of health ventures to take bold, strategic steps into Asia Pacific’s thriving innovation ecosystem with the new Desafía Singapore program.

Paving the way to enter new markets.

As a gateway to South East Asia, and with a life sciences ecosystem valued at $22.5 billion (Startup Genome, 2021), Singapore is primed to enable European ventures to unlock new opportunities to transform healthcare. MedTech Actuator is proud to work together with ICEX Spain Trade and Investment to help ventures realise this potential with greater speed and scale. 

Building on the success of the inaugural Desafía Singapore in 2021 – applications will open soon to continue catalysing the growth of Spain’s MedTech and BioTech ventures in Asian markets.

Supported by the Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 masterplan by the National Research Foundation, Singapore has set aside $25 billion to support innovation over the next 5 years.

Singapore is also home to more than 50 regional and global headquarters of healthcare MNCs, with more than $300M invested in startups in 2018 alone. Singapore’s ecosystem supports the commercialisation of innovation in healthcare through providing strong clinical infrastructure, robust IP protection and leading biomedical research. 

Singapore welcomes entrepreneurs and tech talent to anchor themselves in Singapore with talent initiatives like Entrepass visas for foreign entrepreneurs. MedTech Actuator was recently appointed as an Entrepass partner to support overseas entrepreneurs – including Desafía Singapore participants – to establish a business in Singapore.

Expanding networks for greater health impact. 

Leading up to the launch of Desafía Singapore, our General Manager Singapore Joshua Lim travelled to Spain to help promote the new program. Joshua met with startups, accelerators, investors, and bioregions in Spain’s healthcare ecosystem such as Asebio (Asociación Española de Bioempresas), Telefonica, Basque Health Cluster, Caixa Capital Risc, Barcelona Health Hub and ACCIÓ.

“Spain’s vibrant ecosystem creates innovative and digitally-enabled medical solutions that are well-positioned to disrupt traditional healthcare services,” said Joshua.

“We see new opportunities for expansion and collaboration of commercial activities between Spain and Singapore’s ecosystem, and are excited to catalyse the acceleration of Spanish companies to bring their innovations to the leading medical institutions and corporations in the Asia Pacific region through the Desafía Singapore program.” 

ICEX Spain Team, 2021 Photo of Desafía Singapore program participants on Zoom call, 2021

The inaugural Desafía Singapore, 2021.

Spain’s health venture founders ready for liftoff in Asia.

An impressive cohort of health venture founders from across Spain joined the inaugural, two week immersive Desafía Singapore in late 2021. 

Founders built expertise in navigating global growth opportunities in Singapore, neighbouring Asian countries, and Australia. They participated in commercialisation workshops with a laser focus on growth in Asia, developed new cultural sensitivity to help them navigate the nuances of working in different countries across Asia, connected with industry mentors, and networked widely with healthcare stakeholders and investors.

Here’s what founders had to say about their Desafía Singapore experience.

“Great insights on the regulatory frameworks and inner workings of healthcare systems in many different countries.” –Pablo Sanchez, Adamo Robot

“I feel more prepared to approach the culture and market, knowing how the ecosystem works and with local friends that can support me. The biggest benefit of the program was the human relationships built, although I would call it a privilege. Thank you so much for everything.” –Vera Guerreiro, Mediktor

“I now have a better understanding of different MedTech spaces in Singapore and other countries in Asia – and how our company can enter and work in them.” –Jose Angel D’Amico Bravo, Cella 

“In other training and mentoring programs, you feel from day one that it is going to be a waste of time. But this was not the case with Desafía Singapore. We joined the program to build our knowledge of the Asia Pacific market and to start thinking about it for the next four to five years. But the last two weeks of sessions have been amazing. We have learnt so much about your region and discovered that we could have a sweet spot there.” –Ruben Molina, Innitius

Ready to grow your health venture in Asian markets?

If you are based in Spain and preparing to grow your health venture in Asian markets, Desafía Singapore can support you. 

Applications are opening soon – register your interest or reach out with questions to Joshua Lim at joshua[@]medtechactuator.com.

Feature photo: José María Blasco Ruiz, Carmen García-Cervigón, Joshua Lim and Patricia Rodríguez-Lucena at ICEX Spain Trade and Investment.

Desafía Singapore is delivered by ICEX Spain Trade and Investment and MedTech Actuator, supported by the Embassy of Spain in Singapore, Enterprise Singapore, National Health Innovation Centre Singapore, Agency for Care Effectiveness – Singapore, Stendard, National University Health System, National Healthcare Group Singapore, Singapore Economic Development Board, Ernst & Young, Austrade, HealthTEC Singapore Health Technologies Consortium, Philips, Singapore Biodesign, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Intralink Group, and Ontogenix