VicHealth seeking startup ideas for Physical Activity Innovation Challenge

- July 23, 2014 2 MIN READ

Many go to the local gym to stay active. Others play club sports. But more and more Australians are looking for flexible, less structured alternatives. According to VicHealth, less than one-third of Australians are getting sufficient exercise on a daily basis, which in turn is putting Australians at greater risk of illnesses that are preventable. In response, VicHealth is calling on local entrepreneurs to come up with ideas to get more Victorians living active lifestyles.

While many have blamed technology for our declining motivation to exercise, it’s also perceived as the solution. For instance, there are clear synergies between wearable technology and health. Last year, Rackspace Hosting commissioned a study in Australia about the use and impact of wearable technology on consumers and businesses. ‘The Human Cloud: Wearable Technology from Novelty to Productivity’ study revealed that 35 percent of Australians aged between 18 and 64 have used wearable technology such as health and fitness monitors, smart glasses, watches, clothing, or cameras, ahead of 18 percent in the UK and US; and 67 percent of these believe these cloud-powered devices have improved their health and fitness.

Although the study indicates that wearable devices are being used primarily by individuals who are already health conscious, organisations like health insurance firms can motivate adoption by rewarding members for living healthier lifestyles. If their members are proactive about their health, it’s also good for their bottom line. Less claims.

Tech entrepreneurs around the world are making a conscious effort to make exercise less inconvenient and more accessible. Products like Cubii, an under-desk elliptical trainer, and Fithoop, a hula hoop designed for workouts, are getting positive responses.

Physical Activity Innovation Challenge

Given the opportunities in the FitTech market, VicHealth is offering to divide $400,000 worth of startup funding to entrepreneurs who come up with the most promising ideas to get Australians active. It doesn’t necessarily need to be wearable technology; it can be innovative fitness equipment. 

Entrants need to submit a two minute video pitch answering the following questions:

  • How will your idea get more people physically active?
  • How is it different to anything else out there?
  • How are you taking advantage of market trends?
  • Who will you recruit to be on your project team?
  • How will your project be sustainable in time?

VicHealth will be assessing the ideas on how quickly it can be put to market, as well as on the basis of equity, scalability, sustainability, and virality, among more.

More information on how to enter can be accessed via challenge.vichealth.vic.gov.au.