In May 2018, the third annual Bay Area Global Health Innovation Challenge will once again bring student teams from across the country and beyond to compete on a central stage for a chance to be mentored by and connected with global health and innovation leaders from the Bay Area – and a chance at a $10,000 HealthRoots Grand Prize. Registration for this year’s Challenge will be open January 23rd through February 7th.
The Bay Area Global Health Innovation Challenge is an annual competition that was founded in 2016 by the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, and the HealthRoots Foundation for Global Health. The partnership has grown to include the UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences and UC Davis, with a steering team comprised of the global health leads and representatives from the four world-class institutions.
The competition launched at the 2016 Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) conference in San Francisco, and offers the opportunity for university innovators from across the globe to pitch their ideas for low-cost, high-impact, and scalable global health innovations to a panel of experts in global health, social entrepreneurship, and venture capital. Finalists of the Challenge are chosen for their unique, sustainable and scalable innovations.
Over the first two years of the Challenge, the response from students and the Bay Area global health community was overwhelmingly positive. The first year brought over 80 team applications, with semifinalist teams pitching in Berkeley, and the final pitches held in front of a packed hall at the San Francisco Hilton. Last year teams also had the opportunity to participate in workshops hosted by PATH, Autodesk, as well as hear from a panel of young innovators from the Prakash Lab (Stanford University), Eko Devices (UCB), and Medic Mobile. Judges have included senior leaders from PATH, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Facebook, the Al Mann Foundation, Alloy Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, as well as other venture capitalists.
Through the Challenge the Bay Area universities are striving to provide a bridge between student-driven ideas developed in the academic space to the global health marketplace. The innovation hub of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley provides an important stage for the teams, given its strength in health and social impact, philanthropy, and technology.
The Challenge is open to teams of currently-enrolled university students including undergraduate, graduate, resident (i.e. medical training), and postdoctoral students. Students from all disciplines and stages of training are welcome, and from any country.
In a slight change from previous years, the 2018 Challenge will be accepting submissions in four specific categories: Humanitarian Health, Planetary Health, Infectious Disease, and Non-Communicable Disease. The submissions will be reviewed by experts from each thematic area, as well as venture capitalists and health innovators. Teams will also be encouraged to identify innovation categories, including Product (Hardware & Software), Diagnostics, Data & Informatics (including artificial intelligence and virtual reality), Human-Centered Design, and Service Delivery/Implementation.
Registration for the 2018 Challenge opens January 23 – February 7 and applicants can apply through the website. The public pitch events and award ceremonies are slated for May. For more information, and to subscribe to the newsletter for notifications about the 2018 competition, please visit the Challenge website.