Published: 03/19/2021

We are proud to announce a diverse and international group of 16 student teams with a wide range of global health solutions, each selected for their innovative, scalable, and sustainable approach to solving pressing global health challenges around the world.

After a competitive initial application round, 16 student teams have been selected from dozens of high-quality proposals to compete in the 2021 Bay Area Global Health Innovation Challenge. These teams of student social-entrepreneurs have been invited to participate in a series of virtual workshops and mentoring sessions, and to present their ideas to a panel of high-level judges at the virtual Final Pitch event on Saturday, May 1, 2021.

Finalist teams hail from over 30 universities around the world, with students representing 8 countries. The proposed innovations address a range of global health issue areas, including but not limited to maternal and child health, non-communicable diseases, water and sanitation, health systems strengthening, and emergency response. They target low-income or under-served populations in countries spanning from Zambia, Liberia, and Madagascar to India and Nepal.

At the Final Pitch on May 1, teams will pitch their innovations to a panel of top Bay Area investors, philanthropists, global health and technology experts, including:

  • Steve Davis, Senior Strategy Advisor & Interim Director, China Country Office, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Eric J. Grigsby, President and CEO, Neurovations & Chief Medical Officer, Alfred E. Mann Foundation
  • Mary-Ann Etiebet, Lead and Executive Director, Merck for Mothers
  • David Rhew, Global Chief Medical Officer & VP of Healthcare, Microsoft
  • Coleman Fung, CEO/Co-Founder, Blue Goji LLC & Chair, Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership at UC Berkeley
  • Brigitte Hoyer Gosselink, Director of Technology Impact,
  • Jeffrey P. Koplan, Vice President for Global Health, Emory Global Health Institute
  • Pam Scott, Founder and Design Thinker, the Curious Company
  • Nuntavarn Vichit-Vadakan, Founding Dean of the Faculty of Public Health, Thammasat University in Thailand
  • Mike Eisenstein, Director of Product Development, Equalize Health

Selected innovations include a rapid triage system for assessing diabetic foot ulcers; a 3D-printed device that simplifies the brachytherapy procedure for cervical cancer; a digital wellness app for at-risk teenagers; a training program helping children and young adults spot signs of emotional and other types of abuse; a novel point-of-care diagnostic test for sickle cell disease; a handheld field tool for identifying common malaria vectors; and a novel grassroots system for personalized emergency response.

In addition to receiving one-on-one mentorship and attending expert-guided workshops on topics such as pitching an idea, leveraging human-centered design, mobilizing resources, and achieving scale and sustainability, teams will have the opportunity to connect with Bay Area organizations and leaders. One winning team will receive the $10,000 HealthRoots Grand Prize.

The Bay Area Global Health Innovation Challenge is a global competition offering student teams from universities worldwide the opportunity to accelerate their ideas for innovative low-cost, high-impact, and scalable global health solutions. The Challenge began in 2016 as a competition organized and sponsored by the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University, in partnership with HealthRoots Foundation for Global Health. It has grown in both size and scope to become a pre-eminent global health innovation competition, uniting universities in the Bay Area — UC Berkeley, Stanford, UCSF, and UC Davis — with industry and Bay Area partners, including the Bay Area Global Health Alliance.

The Final Pitch event will be broadcast live. Check back for more information.