Health Care Innovation Takes the Stage at Challenge Cup Events Around the World

Partners in Innovation | An exciting competition featuring promising startup companies tackling major challenges in the areas of education, energy, cities and health has been taking place in cities around the globe – from Nairobi, Kenya, to Washington, DC.

Produced by 1776, of which the ACC is a partner, this global Challenge Cup competition provides an opportunity for companies to connect with prominent entrepreneurs, investors, customers and partners over a two-day period. At each competition, up to 40 startups present one-minute pitches, with eight moving on to a five-minute pitch round. The final four winners (one in each of the categories) move on to participate in the Challenge Cup Global Finals that will take place in Washington, DC, in May.

“The Challenge Cup provides a unique forum for startups from around the world to showcase solutions to global challenges like health care,” said Jeffrey Soble, MD, FACC, who represented the ACC as a judge in the Chicago, IL, competition. “Cardiology as a specialty and the ACC as an organization have been on the forefront of health care innovation, both through technology and programs focused on measureable outcomes, guidelines and appropriate use criteria. There is tremendous opportunity to bring together our expertise with the startup community to accelerate the next generation of cardiovascular innovation.”

The Challenge Cup has already hit Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; Toronto, Canada; Sydney, Australia; New York, NY; Beijing, China; Tel Aviv, Israel; Amman, Jordan; Nairobi, Kenya; and Bangalore, India. ACC members have served as judges in the majority of these cities. Between Feb. 5 and March 5, additional Challenge Cups events will take place in Austin, TX; Mexico City, Mexico; Berlin, Germany; Boston, MA; Dublin, Ireland; and San Francisco, CA.

To date, winners in the health care category have ranged from a company using mobile technology to help pregnant women reach their doctors between appointments, to others that are using smartphones to fit amputees for prosthesis’ or helping clinics in the developing world avoid “stock outs,” in which their supplies run dry. One startup called OpenBeds allows providers to see unit and provider availability across a system or network of hospitals; facilitates communication between sending providers, coordinators and receiving providers; and provides analytics to better track bed and provider demand and use.

“Getting involved with the Challenge Cup and 1776 in general is part of the College’s innovation agenda,” says Kevin Fitzpatrick, ACC executive vice president and newly appointed chief innovation officer. “This is an unprecedented opportunity to mix with and learn from innovative people working on various problems in a novel way. Some of these solutions will be directly applicable to the College’s strategic priorities.”

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine

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