SleepFit – HCF Catalyst Accelerator 2018

By Melissa Webster, CEO of SleepFit
SleepFit programs fuse technology with medical expertise to transform sleep, health and performance.

Why did you apply to the program?

We always new that Health Insurance had the potential to be a big market for us, but as a start-up or scale-up it is very difficult to get in the front door and talk to the right people. The HCFCatalyst#3 program meant that we would be able to engage in dialogue with Senior Executives directly, discussing openly the problems they faced and our ideas on co-creating innovative solutions for them.

What’s it been like working with the corporate?

The HCF team was fantastic to work with. Traditionally it would be intimidating meeting with the Officer for the CEO, the Head of Ventures, the CFO, the Chief Medical Officer, the CHRO or Chief Strategy Officer, but they were open and engaging and we all knew we were doing this to make a real difference. I think when passion to solve a public health issues shines through, then this engages everyone. Of course commercial outcomes are at play, but its about “profit with purpose”.

What’s the biggest learning you’ll take away from the Slingshot program?

Wow, where do I start. It is about understanding the problem and the revenue flows from the prospective of your customer. Until you can do that there is no point engaging. Also, I learnt not to try and pitch “everything” at once (which was very hard for me). Don’t overwhelm everyone with too many options where a decision becomes paralysing, build incrementally.

What was your favourite aspect of the program?

It was definitely the opportunity to engage with Senior Executives direct with the mutual goal of driving outcomes within a 12 week period. It was also what I now call the “entrepreneurial MBA on steroids” which is what we went through with Slingshot. This was invaluable at so many levels. Finally, it was the awesome group of people I met in the cohort, the other Founders. We were such a great support to each other and I have no doubt will stay firm friends and this part was really special.

What’s next for your Startup?

Well, we are hiring 3 new people to bring our team to 8. We are moving to larger premises at Hub Hyde Park. We continue our unwavering focus on research and product development with the goal of releasing two new programs by the end of the year, one in partnership with HCF. We will push forward on clinical validation. We will consolidate our value proposition and offer to Australian organisations. We will broaden our reach into the insurance market. We are currently running a pilot with an overseas insurer so we may be looking to overseas early 2019.

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