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Heart Assn Challenge Seeks Heart Disease Prevention Tools

Heart angiogram


11 August 2014. American Heart Association seeks new products to better prevent and manage heart disease and stroke in an open-innovation challenge for early-stage companies in the Midwest. The top three winners will be eligible for awards of up to $20,000, and a chance to pitch their ideas at a November forum on health care innovation in Chicago. The deadline for applications is 12 September 2014.

The competition, sponsored by American Heart Association’s Chicago affiliate, is looking for new ideas from life science and medical technology start-ups that help patients or health care providers prevent or manage cardiovascular disease and stroke. The solutions sought in the challenge should help American Heart Association achieve its 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.

The group defines early-stage companies as those raising less than $5 million in investment capital and generating less than $150,000 in revenue. The competition is open to entrants with a presence in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, or Wisconsin.

The challenge has two phases. In phase 1,  competitors submit their applications through an online portal, due by 12 September. A panel of judges will review the applications and select 10 finalists, who will seek public support through social media and crowdfunding on the MedStartr platform. That campaign will run from 30 September through 5 November.

The 10 finalists will be evaluated on technical and innovative merit by a team of judges, which will make up half of the total score. Donations and social media shares accumulated during the campaign will comprise 30 and 20 percent respectively of the total score.The announcement of the top three finalists will be made on 8 November.

The three top winners will have an opportunity pitch their ideas at this year’s Heart Innovation Forum in Chicago on 14 November. American Heart Association says the one-day meeting brings together business leaders with physicians and researchers to find new ways of speeding the translation of science into treatments for heart disease and stroke. The group anticipates a turnout of 250 for the forum with entrepreneurs and investors among those expected to attend.

Based on their presentations, the first-place winner will win a grant of $20,000, with two runners-up receiving grants of $2,500 each — in addition to funds raised earlier on MedStartr.

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