These are the startup competitions for the healthcare space

Steven Loeb · May 12, 2017 · Short URL:

A list of startup competitions awarding prizes to startups focused on healthcare

If you're a startup seeking opportunities to get funded, educated or connected, startup competitions are a great resource.

Vator has been holding its own competitions, using VatorX, to find and filter for the best startups. We've had some very successful and notable winners in the past that have gone on to raise big funding rounds including Thumbtack, DogVacay, Pokitdok, Grovo, Udemy and Apartment List, to name a few.

Anyone can list their program as VatorX is one of the most comprehensive listing guides to startup competitions, challenges, accelerators and programs. Click here to list your program!

As part of our weekly series, we'll look at top competitions with big cash prizes, as well as competitions that have teed up the most promising startups, to finding popular startup competitions you need to know about. 

Here are some of the startup competitions that are focused on the healthcare space:

Description: "In response to highly successful events in over the past three years, Insight Product Development and MATTER are co-hosting the fourth annual HealthTECH Summit on October 27th, 2016. This year our team of judges will select ten leading early stage medical device and digital health startup finalists from the Midwest to compete for $35,000 in cash and prizes."

Prize: A $20,500 first prize, a $10,500 second, and the third place winner earns $4,000. Six months free membership at MATTER.

Previous winners IntuiTap MedicalPortela Soni MedicalPSYONIC

Description: "OneStart is the world’s largest life sciences and healthcare startup accelerator program - welcoming ideas focused on the improvement of human health including; therapeutics, diagnostics, software, devices, research tools, and more.

Our focus is it to cultivate early-stage entrepreneurship among young and disruptive healthcare innovators and to that end we limit the participation of applicants to 35 years old or younger."

PrizeThe Grand Prize for OneStart Americas is $150,000, and £100,000 for OneStart Europe. Both prizes are non-dilutive and come with free lab space and extensive follow-on mentoring.

Previous winners: Captain T Cell, InBrace, Keregen, Ligadon

Pitch Perfect cropped

Description: "At MedCity INVEST Pitch Perfect Contest, promising startup companies, offering innovative approaches or trying to solve some of the biggest problems in healthcare will pitch to investors LIVE. Participating biopharmadiagnosticsmedical device, and digital health startups have been pre-selected by a panel of venture capitalists and other investors. Startups will have four minutes to present after which judging VCs will have five minutes to pepper them with questions about their strategy and business plans during MedCity INVEST."

Prize: Not specified

Previous winners: First competition May 17-18

Description: "Ahead of Super Bowl LI, the National Football League (NFL), in collaboration with the Texas Medical Center (TMC), is calling on innovators to share their solutions to help advance the game of football and the safety of its players."

Prize: In addition to the opportunity to pitch in front of NFL team owners and executives and other invitees from the NFL, the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee and the TMC, the winning team from each theme received a $50,000 check from the NFL, two tickets to Super Bowl LI and acceptance into the Texas Medical Center Accelerator (TMCx).

Previous winners: GoRout, Mobile Virtual Player, Windpact

Description: "At GIANT, we believe tomorrow’s solutions to our health problems lie with today’s ideas. This is why we are launching the Beanstalks – a competition for entrepreneurs and companies with innovative and novel ideas related to healthcare."

Prize: Cash prizes, up to £15,000 worth of legal support and up to £25,000 of clinical advisory support

Previous winners: CortiCare, IDEABATIC, MedEXO Robotics

Description: "Unitus Seed Fund, India’s leading impact venture fund investing in early-stage startups innovating for the masses, today announced the launch of the fourth edition of its StartHealth competition – a nationwide challenge to find, mentor and fund startups that are driving accessible and affordable tech-driven healthcare solutions for India’s low-income population."

PrizeA cash prize of INR 6 lakhs and potential access of up to 4 crore of additional funding and investmen

Previous winners: UE LifeSciencesModule Innovations, OmiX Labs

Description: "We believe drivers of change come from new ideas and new startups! And we believe today's startups are driving the digital revolution that will create better health care for the future.

We're looking for startups building products and services that are helping to make consumers become the CEOs of their own health or assist care providers in caring for their patients remotely, or revamping the way healthcare is being paid for, and generally technology that's helping to make sense of the massive amounts of data emerging."

Prize: A Surf Air one month membership for 4; $10k in engineering work, courtesy Stratpoint; complimentary bookkeeping from Scrubbed; a video of your presentation; a bottle of Bread and Butter wine; an Apple iPad Mini, courtesy Health Wildcatters; Plus sit-down meetings with Sequoia Capital, Kleiner Perkins, GE Ventures, Maveron, Canaan Partners, McKesson Ventures, Xfund, Vator Investment Club, DFJ, Subtraction Capital,, Maven.

Previous winners: Iris Plans, Blumio, Lighthouse, Bloom Technologies,  Luminate Health, Privail

(Image source:

Read more from our "Startup Competition Guide" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs



Joined Vator on

Blumio has developed a sensor that can continuously monitor one of our most important vital signs – blood pressure – without requiring an inflatable cuff. Designed for all day wear, Blumio’s novel sensor technology can measure blood pressure noninvasively and continuously, by capturing and analyzing arterial movements in a new way, providing the ability to gain contextual insights into this important biomarker and opening a new window into our understanding of heart health.



Joined Vator on

LIGHTHOUSE is a digital patient care program that brings together patients, their primary physician, extended care providers and our dedicated team of nurses, counselors and dietitians that will re-write the standards of care for people living with diabetes and elevate the impact of great self-management.


Our program is pre-approved for for a $500/year Medicare incentive and picks up where most diabetes protocols drop off — the moment a patient leaves their doctor’s office with a pile of great physician instruction, but with little guidance on how to translate their care plan into action. LIGHTHOUSE integrates into the existing patient/doctor workflow through the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system and helps the care team identify opportunities for care. The connected patient program draws on the deep library of partner expertise to slowly help patients develop core skills in diet, physical activity, adherence and logging.


A five minute enrollment process in the doctor’s office kicks off an Mayo Clinic patient management team focused on care coordination, patient self-management and a digital care plan shared by everyone supporting the patient living with diabetes. For a typical family practice of 8 physicians, our program could easily drive an incremental $1MM annually to their bottom line, while transforming the quality of care they deliver to their patients.



Bloom Technologies


Joined Vator on

Bloom is designing the future of prenatal care with technology designed to improve the health of moms and babies.  We combine wearable devices with data analytics to reassure moms and provide doctors with better information to improve birth outcomes.

Our first product, Belli, measures the most important health parameters of mom and baby from conception to birth.  This includes pregnancy specific information no other wearable can measure today (contractions, fetal movement, fetal heart rate). Moms receive personalized feedback on her baby and her body to take the guesswork out of pregnancy and provide much needed peace of mind.

Iris Plans


Joined Vator on

Iris Plans reduces the cost of complex care by 25% with our Advance Care Planning (ACP) solution for health insurers and at-risk providers. We dramatically reduce unnecessary care delivered to patients facing serious illness - a focused population that drives significant spending. Our telehealth platform allows Iris healthcare professionals to meet with patients and their families anytime, anywhere, creating a plan to guide major healthcare decisions. We have decades of palliative care experience and deliver a targeted offering at considerably lower cost than a traditional palliative program.



Privail, Inc.


Joined Vator on

Privail is developing point-of-care (POC) diagnostics for the early detection of infectious diseases, with an initial focus on HIV. Unlike current POC diagnostic methods, which focus on the detection of antibodies or nucleic acids, Privail's proprietary technology directly detects the virus itself and is available in a simple, low-cost and portable device. By getting tested immediately, patients can receive earlier and more effective treatment, and ultimately reduce the spread of disease.


The Problem

There is a lack of early HIV identification and treatment. Today, over 54% of the 35 million HIV+ population are unaware of their disease status until symptoms appear, and as a result, are 11 times more likely to die within their first year of infection. This unawareness also increases the risk of spreading HIV. Current diagnostics, which rely on the detection of antibodies or nucleic acids, present barriers to early testing because of their high costs and long window periods. Additionally, in regions such as Africa and India, where more than 80% of the HIV population resides, social stigma associated with getting tested creates an additional barrier.  


Privail's Solution

Privail is developing simple, low-cost, and portable POC diagnostics for the detection and monitoring of infectious and inflammatory diseases. Our device will lie at the intersection between a pregnancy test and diabetes test, where all that is required is a small amount of blood from a finger prick, and within minutes, a patient will obtain easy-to-read results in the form of a color output (red or blue) or a digital output (“+” or “-“). Similarly, we will also be providing a laboratory test for hospital/clinical use, where a small patient blood sample can be mixed with Privail’s testing solution, and within minutes, results can be read with standard laboratory equipment. Furthermore, Privail’s proprietary technology is a platform that can be easily adapted for the early detection of a spectrum of diseases. Hence, there is huge future potential to impact the lives of those at risk for common diseases as well as upcoming threats.


Global Impact

By providing affordable tests that can be conducted in the privacy of one's home, we set the stage for enhanced health outcomes on a global level. The earlier a disease is detected, the better patients can enhance health outcomes and avoid disease transmission.

Luminate Health


Joined Vator on

Luminate Health provides labs and healthcare providers with a first-of-its-kind, digital platform for their patients to access and understand their lab results. The company is a SaaS provider, and is partnering with commercial, specialty, and hospital labs across the US. Luminate Health is also helping these labs satisfy a major new federal rule from HHS, which now requires all US labs - commercial, specialty, and hospital - to provide patients with direct access to their lab results.

Luminate Health now counts a number of top-150 US labs among its customers, and continues to see a very positive response to its product from both patients and physicians.

Luminate Health is focused on leading the shift toward patient-centric healthcare by engaging patients to actively manage their own health, and leveraging the growing volume of available health data to improve patient care and outcomes.

The company is venture-backed, and includes KEC Ventures and several prominent healthcare-focsed angels as investors.