American Heart Association
Open Innovation Challenge

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As an organization we have recognized the opportunity that exists at the intersection of innovation and cardiovascular disease. At the American Heart Association's Heart Innovation Forum some of the greatest minds from industry, academia and the investment community will come together for a world-class collaborative discussion. Through the Forum, the American Heart Association will foster relationships between key stakeholders that will benefit the entire health sciences ecosystem and drive much needed resources towards innovation in cardiovascular research and technology.

Challenge Information

Who Can Enter?

If you have an early stage product or solution for cardiovascular disease prevention or management, we encourage you to apply. Entries from innovative entrepreneurs, scientists, physicians, nurses, patients, engineers, administrators and passionate people are welcome. Teams must have a presence in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, or Wisconsin and be available to come to Chicago for the Heart Innovation Forum on November 14, 2014. Applicants must have an established legal entity. Individuals or those with formation stage ideas are not eligible.

What Types of Companies Should Apply?

Early stage healthcare technology and life sciences companies that seek to help patients, providers or medical facilities meet the aims of the American Heart Association’s 2020 Impact Goal: to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing death from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent by the year 2020.

"Early stage" is defined as a company or team that has previously raised less than five million dollars in seed or other funding and has generated less than $150,000 in revenue.

How Does the Challenge Work?

In Phase I, applicants will complete an online form demonstrating their ideas with a particular emphasis on how their project will help people prevent and/or manage cardiovascular disease and stroke. A panel of American Heart Association judges will review the submissions and the top ten best ideas will be selected to move to Phase II.

All finalists will be featured on an online crowdfunding Challenge to raise the most funds for their project. The top three teams, as determined by who raises the most funding, gets the most social shares, and as selected by our distinguished panel of judges (30%, 20%, 50%) will be invited to present their idea to an expert panel of judges and investors at the American Heart Association's Health Innovation Forum event in Chicago on November 14, 2014.

Who are the Judges?

Judges for the Innovation Challenge are individuals with expertise in the healthcare startup world.

What are the Awards?

Phase I Finalists: American Heart Association Showcase Showdown

The top ten applicants will go live in a MedStartr Crowdfunding Challenge that will be shared with millions of doctors, patients, administrators, investors and healthcare partners, many of whom will want to support your idea and can do so right through the MedStartr crowdfunding platform.

On average, successful MedStartr companies are raising over $200,000 from the Crowd that Cares for a total of over 50 million dollars in total funding, hundreds of new partnerships, and thousands of new customers. The finalists keep all funds raised through the MedStartr Crowdfunding Challenge (less standard crowdfunding fees) and companies raising the most money stand a better chance of making it on stage in the finals! In the last AHA challenge, the finalists raised in aggregate over $50,000, gained over 28 new medical facility clients, and assembled a crowd of over 500 other new customers and supporters.

Phase II Finalists: Meet the Key Players in the Cardiovascular Health Ecosystem

On November 14th the top three Finalists will present their ideas on stage at the Heart Innovation Forum in front of 250 anticipated guests, comprised of the leading investment bankers, venture capitalists, private equity firms, business development professionals in the pharmaceuticals space, professional service firms, transaction attorneys, IP attorneys, financiers, financial analysts, life science clinicians and innovators, and academic and medical professionals.

In addition to this opportunity, the top three Finalists will also keep the funds raised by the public during the Crowdfunding phase (less standard credit card processing and crowdfunding fees) and present their project in front of our expert judges to compete for the following grants:

1st Place: $20,000 American Heart Association Grant

Runner Up 1: $2,500 American Heart Association Grant

Runner Up 2: $2,500 American Heart Association Grant

We invite you to learn more about the American Heart Association's Heart Innovation Forum. Please click here to visit our website.