Startup Competition Guide


Startup competitions from top healthcare companies

They include competitions from Humana, UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, Pfizer and UCSF

Innovation series by Steven Loeb
January 18, 2019
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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 InsurTech companies:



Description: "The Humana Innovation Challenge resulted in ideas to personalize and streamline patient engagement through artificial intelligence and predictive modeling; a friendly, wide-ranging app to capture and share one’s own health journey; and a means to reduce friction among value-based care stakeholders to create a more unified approach and better identify gaps in care."

Prize: Top prize of $10,000, second-place prize of $5,000, third-place prize of $2,500

Previous winners: MedMind, Vesalius, Lexigram


UnitedHealth Group

Description: "The Innovation Challenge was open to established companies of all sizes whose founders have been affected by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), whether as a patient or through a loved one, and who have created a product or service to address an issue encountered by IBD patients."

Prize: First place: $25,000, second place: $15,000, third place: $10,000

Previous winners: Complete Start, Toi Labs, Nima Labs


 Aetna logo

Description: "Aetna's Voices of Health competition is designed to celebrate the non-profit agencies that bring positive change to our communities, inspire us, and make us all stronger. This year's finalists are exceptional examples of our local heroes who work each day to address the social determinants of health in our communities."

Prize: Voices of Health celebrates and validates the work of each participating non-profit by awarding $1,000 sponsorship grants to each organization. Participating organizations are given the opportunity to compete in a local competition to win a grand prize of $20,000 or a second-place prize of $10,000.

Previous winners:The Good Samaritan Health Center, Miracle League of New Albany, St. Vincent’s Healthcare Foundation


Description: "The Surgical Innovations Accelerator provides seed funding, engineering support, and personalized consultation and advising to assist promising medical device ideas from UCSF faculty through the product development process towards market availability and patient benefit. The award is supported by our dedicated network of consultants from academia, industry, and venture capital. Award sizes vary based on project needs and availability of funds."

Prize: $50,000 plus engineering and advising services, $5,000 for the People's Choice awardee

Previous winners: Tabla, Glacier Medical, ReValve Med



Description: "The ‘Pfizer Healthcare Hub: London’ aims to help companies who have demonstrated their potential to transform the lives of patients through digital innovation by connecting them to expertise within Pfizer and Pfizer’s networks in the UK and beyond."

Prize: A year of support from the program and a share of roughly $70,000 dollars. Along with this support, winners will also receive access to Pfizer’s regional partners, including the National Health Service.

Previous winners: Cera, Echo, GiveVision


JnJ Innovation Logo

Description: "The Johnson & Johnson Innovation challenges are pitching competitions designed to attract global, game changing entrepreneurial innovations in the Pharmaceutical, Medical Devices, Consumer and Global Public Health sectors."

Prize: Changes depending on the competition

Previous winners: AlphaBiomics, Agateka, PedalTap, Kernel Fresh


 Novartis logo: a global healthcare company

Description: "Our newly-kicked off series of global, open innovation challenges seeks to partner with the digital health ecosystem and people passionate about disrupting healthcare to help find creative new solutions to important healthcare problems using data and digital technologies."

Prize: $30,000 in prizes

Previous winners: Veta Health, Wavy

(Image source:

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