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Health Launchpad

Author: Louise Pulford
Published Date: 20 November 2007

The NESTA-Young Foundation Health Innovation Accelerator is a new model for speeding up the creation and development of social enterprises in the health sector.


Health Launchpad’s aim is to stimulate and encourage innovative ideas, wherever they may come from, and to turn those ideas into new ventures that will make as profound an impact as possible on the UK’s health and quality of life. More specifically, we’ll be looking for ideas that reflect our changing health landscape – innovative patient-centred approaches to prevention, self-management and improved quality of life. This collaboration between NESTA and the Young Foundation is a part of wider initiatives by both partners. It is aligned with the Young Foundation’s work in other areas of need (such as practical learning), delivered by their Launchpad team. It is also the first of a series of major partnerships through which NESTA’s Health Challenge will be rolled out.


Health Launchpad is an early stage social venture fund focused on innovation in the field of long term conditions. We develop promising ideas into new ventures by providing intensive hands-on support in the form of financial, intellectual and social capital.


Health Launchpad is a fund within Launchpad, whose team combines hands-on experience from commercial, technology and social enterprise sectors focuses on the start-up, financing and growth of new organisations.


All our projects do through a structured process where they are assessed on the following basis:

  • Innovation: how disruptive is the innovation? We are looking for projects that are radical in approach and can potentially transform society and truly break the mould.
  • Sustainability: how sustainable is the project in the long term? We are looking for ventures that continue to deliver sustainable social impact overt the long term
  • Scalability: how is the replicable or scalable.

We recognise that funding is always a critical element, however for innovative projects there is also a need for clarity of vision, clear project direction and the ability to build momentum around emerging themes. The Health team contains of individuals with a vast array of backgrounds, all who may support projects to be realised - be it via hands-on or light-touch approaches. Health Launchpad aims to accelerate health innovations by helping new ventures to be realised. Projects therefore get individualised support alongside funding in order to provide the project with the best chance of success.