Why are HCF doing this?

HCF has always sought to bring innovative ideas to market for the benefit of its members and the community as a whole.  The challenge has always been to find those opportunities. HCF Catalyst addresses this challenge by attracting innovators to HCF, offering successful entrepreneurs the support they require to get their ideas market-ready, while giving HCF and its members early access to the best ideas that Australia has to offer.

What makes the HCF Catalyst program different from other Startup Accelerators?

Most accelerators supply seed capital and a mentor driven program but few give Startups the ability to work with the one thing that all Startups need; a large motivated customer like HCF.

  • We have our own dedicated investment that has the ability to participate in follow on funding
  • We incorporate all new companies and provide shareholder documentations
  • As investors in your business, we are long term participants in your success and provide ongoing mentorship, support and contacts long after the program has finished
  • Our corporate client base is growing and you will have future opportunities to scale your business with some of Australasia’s largest organisations

What’s the Accelerator program like?

Intense, 12 weeks is not a long time. You will be part of a cohort of other hard working Startups. You will be immersed in the 12-week program and exposed to the best Mentors to guide you. Critical appraisal is a big part of the process; we are not a cheer squad. You will be exposed to our investors, partners, sponsors and media. We have set piece events during the program and a Demo Day.  After the Accelerator content is finished and your company has successfully completed the modules, built a solid team and product and gained some customer traction we will supply you with additional support to continue to build your business. At the end of the program we aim to co-invest in all of our Alumni’s next funding rounds.

Why should I apply for the HCF Catalyst Program?


We give you access to a large customer who wants you to succeed and is also a potential investor post program. Customers are difficult to acquire and retain so we think this piece that will add more value than any other element of our program.


Our mentors drive our program. These are people who have been there and made the mistakes you are about to make. They may have the one little idea that can help you achieve product/market fit and are well connected. We have a set of hands-on mentors that will provide the learning components of the program and a network of mentors that are specialists in your niche. We go to market on your behalf and find the right mentor for you.


Money is important. It generally determines the length of the runway to get your company off the ground and sustainable. Sure, we will invest upfront to get you started but our aim is to do follow on investment in later rounds to really turn your company into a global one. Our network of investors both here and internationally is ready to invest in great companies.

Sponsors and Partners

Something often overlooked is acquiring great business relationships in your Startup early. We have an outstanding group of premium and supporting partner’s hand chosen to help you build you business, supply knowledge, support and advice.

Branding and Media

While social media is a key part of your strategy, building a strong brand and significant PR is critical. Branding is what we know; we have strong relationships with traditional media and PR firms. Our relationship with the media and our ability to attract partners is a good example of the sort of PR you can expect from being part of the HCF Catalyst  program.


We have run several Accelerator programs and with each cycle our expertise grows. We are as engaged as ever and have added to our team bring in the best people we can find to add value to the process.

How much investment do I get?

In total your successful Startup will potentially receive $150,000 in funding.  The Slingshot Venture Fund will initially invest $50,000 for 10% equity and then another $100,000 if your Startup attracts additional funding post program. Slingshot are open to flexible investment terms on a case by case basis

Can my Startup only have one team member?

Unfortunately not.  You will need to have at least one other Co-founder in order to apply for the Startup program.

Will HCF own my business?

No. HCF are supporting the program by giving you the opportunity for funding, mentorship, expansion and member support. At the end of the program, your company will have the opportunity to engage in a commercial agreement with HCF, receive additional investment or continue on your own path.

When do applications close?

Applications for both the Startup and Scaleup program close 5pm on Friday 25 November 2016.

When will I be notified if I am shortlisted?

If  your application has been shortlisted, you will be notified the week commencing 28 November 2016.You will be required to pitch your idea in Sydney on the 6 or 7 December 2016.  Details of dates, times and the location will be included in the email notification.

When does the program start?

The program runs for 12 weeks starting Monday 6 February 2017, and will be run from two locations – the WeWork co-working space in Pyrmont, Sydney and the Inspire9 co-working space in Melbourne.  Teams will be required to attend all days of the program.

What is a Scaleup?

A Scaleup is a business that has a proven team and product with customer traction, and is not in immediate need of funding. A general rule of thumb is that the business has experienced up to 20% growth year on year.

What is the HCF Catalyst Scaleup program?

Most great Startups fail, not because they don’t have a great team or a great product but because they can’t scale their customer base fast enough to generate the revenue they need to survive or raise capital. The HCF Catalyst Scaleup program wants to give these businesses the opportunity to scale quickly by potentially giving them direct access to a large customer base. It is in essence bridging the gap between corporates and Startups.

Why would a Scaleup apply?

There are a few reasons you might want to apply.

  1. You are stuck and the momentum of the early days of your Startup has stalled and you lack the resources to get over the next hump
  1. You have a great product and business and see an application for it within the promoted themes without having to do much development work
  1. Startups can get stale and you need some renewed energy and enthusiasm and want to feel part of something bigger
  1. You had a great experience in you accelerator program and want to revisit some of the elements of that without having to redo the program piece.
  1. You are a world class business looking to add a large customer to your portfolio

I’m a Scaleup, so do I need to participate in the Accelerator program?

No, we anticipate your business is past that stage and you already have the knowledge, product and some customers and revenue in place. You are past the stage of needing an entire Accelerator therefore you will only be required to attend some modules of which we will notify you.

Who are Slingshot?

Slingshot is an organisation immersed in innovation, bringing brings corporates and Startups together. Having run corporate Accelerators for some years, we have access to exciting businesses and IP. No other company in this space knows the benefit of the corporate to Startup relationship like we do.

Slingshot runs the entire initiative on behalf of HCF, starting with the Accelerator program, provide the funding, mentors and are just an all round great group of people to work with.

I need more information. Where can I get it?

If this site hasn’t already answered all of your questions, please reach out to info@slingshotters.com and we can organise a time to talk.


HCF have identified a range of themes that they want Startups and Scaleups to develop.


If you’re ready to take your health tech idea from concept to MVP then the HCF Catalyst Accelerator program is for you.


HCF Catalyst also has a program to suit Scaleups needing a large customer base.


Got some questions you need answered? View our FAQ’s here.

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