Global healthtech startup Homage chooses Melbourne for Australian HQ

Homage, a global health technology startup, has picked Melbourne for its Australian HQ, further strengthening the State’s thriving world class medical technologies sector.

Homage is an award-winning medical technology and personal care platform that combines curated and trained care professionals with smart technology to manage and provide on-demand holistic home and community-based caregiving to seniors and adults, allowing them to age and recover at home with grace, control and dignity.

As a leading care services provider, Homage’s core services include care assessments, personal and social care assistance, nursing procedures and therapy support, including physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.

We spoke to Gillian Tee, Homage CEO and Co-Founder, about the company’s investment journey to Victoria.

What attracted you/your company to invest in Victoria?

Fundamentally, we saw that there was a sufficient breadth and depth of need in Australia for an aged care solution that not only focused on being technology-driven but invested heavily in the curation, screening, training and competency profiling of aged care providers on their platform towards scalable quality and trusted aged care.

We wanted to start in Victoria as we see strong support and deep commitment from the Victoria state government, municipalities and local communities towards building better solutions in the long term care sector what we see as opportunities for meaningful private-public partnerships that we hope to be a part of fostering.

Separately, on a more personal note, Melbourne Victoria was the place of residence for me for many years. Starting here is akin to a sort of homecoming for me.

Importantly, Homage is looking to implement and augment technology thoughtfully in the aged care sector such that we do not compromise on the key pillars of safety, reliability and quality in high touch care delivery and build trust as a service provider - through professionalisation of care support across holistic aged care service categories.

We have seen exponential growth in the need for care services today within the markets in Asia Pacific and Oceania that we operate in. With a fast growing ageing population and chronic disease incidence rates, we expect substantial growth in the next few decades to come.

Yet healthcare systems are struggling to keep up with a shortage of care workers. There is a systemic gap in personalised care planning and ensuring the best suited carers are assigned to care recipients given their unique set of needs and support required where we see the right combination of quality curation and technology can be applied.

This is a problem that isn’t unique to any country in Asia Pacific and we want to play a key role in addressing an important social need and what we see as one of the most important global issues to solve today.

What challenges did you face when you were exploring/entering/expanding into Victoria?

One of the challenges we faced was making sure the administrative and logistical aspects of business and team setup do not limit Homage from scaling out its services. Before expanding into Victoria, we recognised that we needed to adapt our operational playbooks and workflows to be compliant with local state and federal regulations and practices.

From legal to hiring and workforce management, we engaged advisors and partners that could provide us the right counsel and insights to inform our go-to market strategies, planning and execution paths.

Tapping on support from partners including Invest Victoria and Austrade were instrumental in helping us overcome any hurdles or obstacles we experienced in the process of establishing our ground operations.

How did working with Invest Victoria help with your investment journey?

One of the key aspects of setting up operations in Victoria has been building a strong local team. This is where we received pivotal support from Invest Victoria who connected us to the relevant recruitment platforms, agencies and office space providers to support our initial team hiring and business setup. Introductions were also facilitated to help us navigate the visa application process for our team members outside Australia to support the set-up process.

Invest Victoria has also been instrumental in connecting us to key partners such as carerand nurse training institutions as well as State Government representatives of Victoria  to explore ways we could partner and expand the local pool of trained and qualified care providers to support our care recipients and operational needs.

Seeing key aspects of our operations is enabling improved end to end care management through automated care reporting and payments as well as providing accessibility through mobile technologies. Invest Victoria has also been helpful in keeping us updated of relevant Australian Federal and State Government research and development incentives, being a key point of contact for our Homage Australia team whenever we require further support for our investment and expansion in the local digital economy.

What advice do you have for other global businesses looking to invest in Victoria to improve their chance of success?

We would recommend laying the groundwork ahead of an investment as best as possible and look into the fundamentals and factors that would render your unique business and operating model sustainable and effective to your given target expansion market.

Once you have a good idea of why you’re entering the Victoria market as well as the potential impact and opportunities of replicating your playbook into Victoria and wider Australian context, you can start defining an investment and operationalisation plan.

Here is where obtaining the relevant assistance and connections and partners like Invest Victoria can play a huge difference in supporting your initial setup phase. We will always be grateful for all the support Invest Victoria has been extending to us!

Contact us to explore opportunities for investing in Victoria.

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