Home Articles Who walked away with $40k from BlueChilli and Westpac’s 2016 Innovation Challenge?

Who walked away with $40k from BlueChilli and Westpac’s 2016 Innovation Challenge?


BlueChilli and Westpac have announced Surgical Partners as the pick of the bunch in 2016 Innovative Challenge.

Marcus Wilson, the director of Surgical Partners was handed the faux cheque for AU$40,000 for winning the challenge and the folks behind Brontech scooped the People’s Choice award.

Westpac’s Head of Healthcare, Leon Berkovich, said this year’s Innovation Challenge attracted more than 250 applications from start-ups and entrepreneurs across Australia in just three weeks.

How do the winners feel?

A financial management platform for medical practices and their doctors, Surgical Partners integrates any practice management system with any accounting system, and splits doctors’ billings into practice share, and doctor share, in real-time.

“Winning this challenge has been a fantastic opportunity to generate exposure for Surgical Partners. The real issue is that medical centres and other players in the space don’t know there’s a solution to their admin problem,” said Marcus after coming head and shoulders above the rest of the competition.

“That’s why it’s fundamental that we use platforms such as this to further expand our network. This win has been a great validation of a lot of restless nights and confirmation that we are doing the right thing.”

He further intimated that with this funding from Westpac, the company will be looking to hire new people as demand is growing. Surgical Partners will also be exploring partnerships with Westpac and opportunities within its network of business customers.

Emma Poposka, CEO and Co-founder Brontech said, “Winning the People’s Choice Award confirms we are going in the right direction. We believe block chain is going to be the new standard of trust across all industries where trust is the core value, but particularly in our technology Cyph MD which solves the interoperability problem in the healthcare sector.”

“Our plan moving forward from the Westpac Innovation Challenge includes an advisory round for more support, then a fundraising stage. We are also looking to build our technology team to continue to improve our platform. The process has been invaluable and I would encourage others to apply for next year.”

Peoples Choice winner, Brontech
Emma Poposka, CEO and Co-founder and Vojdan Kardaleva CTO and Co-founder, Brontech with Leon Berkovich, Head of Healthcare, Westpac.

What do the organisers think?

“Westpac’s annual Innovation Challenge is one way that we support Australian businesses with the drive and imagination to shape the future of Australia. I’d like to congratulate all of this year’s finalists and the winner, Surgical Partners, for the outstanding quality of their ideas,” said David Lindberg, Chief Executive, Business Bank, Westpac.

He continued, “This Challenge clearly shows that the opportunity for innovation in healthcare is immense and Westpac is proud to support the next wave of entrepreneurs who have the potential to offer so much to this important sector. The healthcare sector is a priority area for Westpac.

“It’s why we have over 110 expert healthcare bankers with deep industry knowledge and experience supporting our customers across Australia, as part of our purpose to help make Australian businesses stronger.”

Colette Grgic, BlueChilli’s General Manager of Innovation, gave her thoughts on the excitement and element of surprise that was part and parcel of the challenge.

“I don’t think any of us could have anticipated that we would have such a suite of great ideas to consider for the prize. To engage the startup community and discover the incredible work that entrepreneurs are doing is a powerful way to approach innovation, and to offer the startups the opportunity to create a path to scale with the support of a partner like Westpac in their corner is very valuable,” she said.