Healthcare incubator all set to grow start-ups

(From left) Trendlines Medical Singapore chief executive Eric Loh, Trendlines chairman and chief executive D. Todd Dollinger and B. Braun Singapore managing director Lam Chee Hong. Trendlines Medical Singapore will incubate early-stage healthcare com
(From left) Trendlines Medical Singapore chief executive Eric Loh, Trendlines chairman and chief executive D. Todd Dollinger and B. Braun Singapore managing director Lam Chee Hong. Trendlines Medical Singapore will incubate early-stage healthcare companies. ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Trendlines Medical Singapore says there is sufficient technology and ideas on offer here, has met with 8 firms

Trendlines Medical Singapore, the latest incubator in town, has been meeting medical entrepreneurs and is already seeing a wealth of opportunities.

It was established by Catalist-listed Israeli medical and agricultural investor The Trendlines Group, and was incorporated in July.

The firm, which will incubate early-stage healthcare companies here and across the region, has already met with eight firms here so far.

Trendlines Medical Singapore chief executive Eric Loh said at a briefing yesterday: "The universities and research institutions here present a lot of good opportunities for us. We're often asked if there is sufficient technology and ideas here for us to look at, and yes, there are."

Ideas on offer from the promising start-ups include devices to treat problems related to hearing or solutions for dialysis problems.

Trendlines also announced it had entered a memorandum of understanding with healthcare supplier B. Braun Melsungen, co-founder of Trendlines Medical Singapore.

B. Braun and Trendlines will jointly invest in the incubator, and both parties will appoint members to the board of directors and investment committee. B. Braun will also give advice on market needs, and technical and commercial matters.

Mr Loh added that the incubator has applied for space at start-up cluster JTC Launchpad @ one-north in Ayer Rajah as a testament to spotting and growing aspiring start-ups. "Three new blocks are being built and we'll be probably be taking most of the second floor of Block 77. This (area) is going to be the hub for all the start-ups, and we're happy to be within the ecosystem."

The new office is set to take up about 5,000 sq ft, and start with a team of four to six people. The plan is to identify and incubate three to four firms in 12 months.

Mr Loh said: "Our model is to be an intensive investor who is hands-on with each of the start-ups we invest in. We pride ourselves in being able to work closely with the entrepreneurs, bringing them through the whole process from idea creation, and then the various aspects of business development, regulatory strategies and more."

Trendlines chairman and chief executive D. Todd Dollinger said setting up an incubator here is part of its plan to expand globally, and to make sure entrepreneurs understand and overcome the difficulties they will face.

He added: "There are things we know that they don't, unless they've run a company before. There will be difficult days, where the technology doesn't develop in a way that was expected or there will be changes in the market.

"That's what we practise at Trendlines, to deal with such problems. That's why we'll make sure we operate in an integrated way, and to take full advantage of all 56,000 people who work for B. Braun, and all 40 who work for Trendlines."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2016, with the headline 'Healthcare incubator all set to grow start-ups'. Print Edition | Subscribe