Healthtech Umbo startup secures $ 200,000 investment in social enterprise to help regional families

Social business start-up in health technology Umbo, which unites rural and regional families with speech and occupational therapists, has received $ 200,000 from social enterprise investor Fortis River to scale up its services.

The wait for access to services such as speech and occupational therapy can be up to 18 months, so the funding will allow Umbo to increase its capacity to integrate more clients and clinicians, and reduce wait times for more families.

Umbo co-founder speech therapist Ed Johnson said the money would also support plans to develop regional partnerships with other service providers working to help families.

“This is a big win for families across Australia who are struggling to access timely, person-centered support from speech and occupational therapists,” he said.

“It breaks my heart when families tell me that they spent two years on a waiting list, or that they went back and forth 6 hours a week to see a clinician, or a clinic. of proximity went through their remote town to screen and diagnose their child, then left with no options for therapy. We have proof that online therapy works, and now we have the means to help as many families as possible.

As a social enterprise, Umbo is committed to reinvesting 50% of its profits in the business to reach the most vulnerable communities.

Fortis River investment follows release of Umbo’s social impact framework, which includes impact metrics such as time saved on waiting lists, travel time to appointments therapeutic and cost savings.

Umbo estimates the travel cost savings at $ 225,000, allowing families to double the amount of therapy they can receive with NDIS funding.

The startup saved, on average, 14 hours of travel per family, or the carbon equivalent of 60 round-trip Sydney-Melbourne flights.

Fortis River Director Nigel Strong said he was delighted to support such a great initiative.

“I thank the founders and employees of Umbo and Pilgrim Advisors for such a constructive and positive process. Umbo provides an important service and we are delighted to support them in the next phase, ”he said.

The $ 200,000 investment follows Umbo’s participation in the Scaling Impact program led by Social Impact Hub last year. This program helped the startup improve its investment readiness and made it easier to introduce its investor.

Social Impact Hub founder Jessica Roth was thrilled with the outcome.

“We are delighted to have played a key role in supporting Umbo throughout its investment readiness journey and introducing it to Fortis River,” she said.

“This is exactly the type of result we are aiming for with the Scaling Impact Accelerator Program.”

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