Since 2015, West of England AHSN has worked alongside SETsquared, to support over 100 innovators in the health and wellbeing sector.

The Health Innovation Programme (HIP) – an intensive, fully-funded, four-day personal development course – helps delegates develop business propositions with real potential to transform healthcare and equip them with core skills in entrepreneurship to take their propositions forward.

A wide range of innovations and ventures have been supported by the HIP over the past five years. From apps and services that tackle mental health issues and promote wellbeing, a smart prosthetic socket, an AI solution to help people live safely in their own homes to a breastfeeding app, a toolkit to help to support individuals with psychosis or bipolar disorder and resources to lower workplace stress.

A recent piece of research carried out by the Innovation and Growth team at the West of England AHSN has shown that these companies have raised over £2.7m in private investment as well creating 17 new jobs as they’ve grown and developed.

Feedback on the programme has been overwhelmingly positive and it’s seen as a valuable milestone in founder’s innovation journeys.

Zoe Thompson from Phoenix Life Coach said:

I attended the HIP in October 2019 with a Wellbeing app that was already on the market.  The programme was incredibly informative, not just from the guest speakers, also from the AHSN team that were there to support.  The programme gave me an opportunity to take time out and review the product, understand the market and to receive feedback and suggestions from others on the programme and the team.   I came away with a notebook of next steps to consider to continue the development of the product.

Since attending the programme the continued support has been fantastic.  The team have kept in touch and kept me informed of other opportunities to continue to develop and market the product.  Having this continued support and expert advice from the AHSN team and Alumni has really helped especially for someone who works as a sole trader.

Nigel Harris, Director of Innovation and Growth from the West of England AHSN commented:

“Taking a healthcare innovation to market, particularly within the NHS, is tough. It’s vital therefore to provide specialist support for these founders to help them navigate the challenges and pitfalls and develop a proposition which has the best chance of success. It’s great to see the HIP is having a real impact on the growth of the companies taking part and going forwards on the healthcare products and services that are available to us.”

The next West of England Health Innovation Programme will take place November and is already fully subscribed. To find out more about the Health Innovation Programme, and plans for future courses contact Rosie Brown at

Posted on October 13, 2020

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