The Healthcare Entrepreneurship Community Challenge, an entrepreneurship competition with over $60,000 in cash and prizes, is now accepting innovative proposals to improve wellness in under-served communities in Long Island, New York City, and the Hudson Valley region.
The challenge seeks entrepreneurs with market-based products or services
that address a community health care problem around this year’s Challenge topic,
“Creating Wellness.” The deadline to
submit proposals is March 15, 2019. Applications can be submitted at www.nyhealthchallenge.com.
The project is a partnership of Hofstra’s Center for
Entrepreneurship, the School of
Health Professions and Human Services, the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine
at Hofstra/Northwell, the Frank G. Zarb School of
Business, and Northwell
Ventures, the investment arm of Northwell Health. The three-year
entrepreneurship training program is funded by a $485,000 federal grant from
the selective Regional Innovation Strategies program administered by the U.S.
Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.
“Hofstra University and its partners are seeking
creative solutions to community health challenges in our region’s underserved
communities. By encouraging entrepreneurs to focus their talents and energy on creating
wellness, we can improve healthcare outcomes and make significant contributions
to the future of our regional economy,” said Stacey Sikes, Executive Dean of
Entrepreneurship and Business Development at Hofstra University.
Health, New York State’s largest healthcare provider and private employer,
is the 2019 Signature Sponsor, providing programmatic support to the
participants and the majority of the cash prizes, as well as serving on the
“Addressing the underlying factors that contribute to health disparities in
so many communities throughout the metropolitan area requires us to engage
differently – and think differently,” said Ram Raju, MD,
senior vice president and chief community investment officer at Northwell
Health. “Given the level of talent that exists throughout the region, I’m
confident that we can identify innovative solutions that will expand access to
care and improve outcomes.”
The prizes, which include cash and in-kind services, are $26,000 for first
place, $18,000 for second place, and $13,000 for third place. Winners will be announced at the Regional
Symposium and Pitch Competition on September 24, 2019 at Hofstra University.
In addition, the National Center for Suburban Studies
at Hofstra University is sponsoring the
$5,000 Community Impact Award for diverse entrepreneurs to seek solutions to
the problems of providing healthcare in underserved suburbs.
The cash prizes are also sponsored by Digital Remedy,
a global digital marketing firm founded by Hofstra Board of Trustees member
Mike Seiman; Ernst
& Young, one of the world’s largest accounting firms focused on
building a better working world for their people, clients, and communities; Nixon Peabody,
a full-service law firm with more than 600 attorneys who serve clients ranging
from Fortune 100 companies to entrepreneurs; and the NuHealth Foundation,
which furthers NuHealth’s healthcare delivery to hundreds of thousands of
Long Islanders, including those who are underserved, uninsured and overlooked.
Additionally, Intelligent Product Solutions
is providing prototyping consulting
services as an in-kind prize, and Hofstra University’s Center for
Entrepreneurship is sponsoring in-kind prizes including technical assistance,
incubator space, and marketing support.
Each year, a steering committee comprised of public health, business, and
venture capital experts selects a different community healthcare topic. The 2019
topic, “Creating Wellness,” challenges entrepreneurs to propose innovative solutions
promoting emotional, occupational, physical, social, intellectual, and
“This year’s Challenge aims to address both the traditional and non-traditional
sectors that contribute to overall wellness such as housing, transportation,
education, built environments, criminal justice, financial literacy and
community economic development,” said Martine Hackett, an associate professor
of health professions at Hofstra and co-chair of the steering committee.
Said committee co-chair Anthony Santella, associate professor
of health professions: “With the goal of joining together to build health equity, our
Challenge will invest in entrepreneurial approaches to resolve what
happens outside of health care environments.”
All submissions will be reviewed by an expert panel of entrepreneurial instructors,
who will also lead an intensive Bootcamp for selected entrepreneurs from May 29
– 31, 2019 at Hofstra University’s new state-of-the-art business incubator, the
New York residency is not required to participate, but entrants will be
required to attend events at Hofstra University and conduct customer discovery
activities in the Challenge target area. The 2018 cohort included over 40 teams
from the United States and Canada, with winning pitches from MedAux, Playback Health,
Kitchen in first, second, and third places respectively.
Participating teams have since showcased at national conferences, participated
in other competitions and received private investment.