The New York City
American Heart Association
Open Innovation Challenge

Health sciences

As an organization we have recognized an opportunity at the intersection of innovation and technology. At the American Heart Association Health Sciences Innovation · Investment Forum some of the great minds from industry, academia and investment will come together for a world-class collaborative discussion. Through the Forum the American Heart Association will foster relationships between key parties 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 cardiovascular health promotion, we encourage you to apply. Entries from dedicated entrepreneurs, scientists, thoughtful physicians, innovative nurses, empowered patients, inventive engineers, activated administrators and passionate people are welcome. Teams must have a New York City presence and be available to come to New York City for the American Heart Association's Health Sciences Innovation · Investment Forum on April 22, 2015. Finalists are expected to present a functional version of their product on stage.

What Types of Companies Should Apply?

Early stage health technology 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 one million dollars in seed or other funding and less than $500,000 in revenue, and has been in business for less than two years. Each finalist must be prepared to present a working prototype or "beta" version of his or her project onstage by the American Heart Association's Health Sciences Innovation · Investment Forum on April 22nd,2015 in NYC.

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 Patient, Physician, Hospital, Investor, and American Heart Association leaders 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 (40%, 20%, 40%) — will be invited to present their idea to an expert panel of judges and investors at the American Heart Association's Health Sciences Innovation · Investment Forum event in New York City on April 22, 2015.

Who are the Judges?

Please read more about our judges on the Judges page.

What are the Prizes?

All Applicants

All applications will first be reviewed by a select crowd of Patient, Physician, Partner, and Investor leaders who will serve as Judges. This is a great opportunity to pitch your idea to some very influential and helpful people who control large audiences, venture funds, hospital systems, and more. One of the great challenges for innovators everywhere is getting an audience and all applicants will, at the very least, gain some attention from the right people who can help.

Phase I Finalists: American Heart Association Crowdfunding Showcase Showdown

The top ten applicants, as judged by our expert crowd, will be notified that they have been selected for the AHA Crowdfunding Challenge Showcase. All Phase I Finalists will recieve MedStartr's expert crowdfunding support that has helped over a hundred new ideas get found and funded faster on The showcase will be shared with millions of doctors, patients, administrators, investors and healthcare partners - many of whom will want to support the best ideas by donating, adopting, sharing, partnering, and even investing in them. On average over one hundred thousand people who care about healthcare innovation will visit the showcase and campaign pages. That is more than twice the number that go to the entire HIMSS conference, for example.

Typically successful projects on MedStartr raise funds, develop partnerships, are adopted by Physicians and Hospitals, get great press, and are courted by investors and advisors. On average, successful MedStartr companies have raised over $200,000 on average online and off. Last year's AHA challenge winners went on to be adopted and partnered with all over the US at scores of medical centers and hundreds of medical offices. Over 68 Million investor dollars, 155 Partnerships, and one hundred thousand innovative product adoptions have happened during or just after MedStartr crowdfunding campaigns so success on MedStartr is a fantastic Prize unto itself. All companies keep all the funds (minus standard crowdfunding fees) they raise and are provided contact information for all customers, partners, and investor contacts gained through the campaigns. The top three companies with the most crowd support in terms of judging, funding, adoption, partnerships, and social shares will be invited on stage in NYC to present for Phase II of the contest.

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

On April 22nd the top three Crowdfunding Showcase Finalists will present their ideas on stage at the Health Sciences Innovation · Investment Forum in front of 300 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 investigators, clinicians, healthcare innovators, and academics.

In addition to this opportunity, the top three Showcase Finalists will present their project in front of our expert judges panels to compete for the following grants:

1st Place: $15,000 American Heart Association Grant

2nd Place: $7,500 American Heart Association Grant

3rd Place: $2,500 American Heart Association Grant

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