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Programs inBuilding Community

The Bay Area Global Health Innovation Challenge

Accelerating student-led innovations to support global public health and well-being.

Overview

The Bay Area Global Health Innovation Challenge is a competition hosted by the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, and the HealthRoots Foundation for Global Health in partnership with UCSF, UC Davis, and the Bay Area Global Health Alliance. We offer student teams from all schools, disciplines, and degree levels (undergrad through post-doc) the opportunity to present their ideas for low-cost, high-impact, and scalable global health solutions to world leaders in health, tech, design, and impact investing.

All finalist teams receive powerful mentorship and development opportunities from expert judges, mentors, and advisors— and one team goes home with the $10,000 HealthRoots Grand Prize.


Background on the Program

**Due to the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Challenge will be held virtually. More information about the Challenge will be shared soon.**

The Bay Area Global Health Innovation Challenge is a competition hosted by the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health and Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health in partnership with the UCSF Institute for Global Health Science, UC Davis, the Bay Area Global Health Alliance, and the HealthRoots Foundation for Global Health. We offer student teams from universities worldwide the opportunity to present their ideas for low-cost, high-impact, and scalable global health innovations.

Every year, following an open call for submissions, the top teams are invited to present their innovations to a panel of judges composed of potential investors, philanthropists, and experts in health, design, and global development, as well as the opportunity to participate in mentoring workshops with leaders from our partner organizations, and network with their peers from around the globe. These teams compete for the grand prize of $10,000 in seed funding, and unique mentorship, idea development, and exposure opportunities.

This year’s Challenge partners are world leaders in health, design, tech, and impact investing, who support the Challenge and participating teams in a variety of ways — offering team mentorship and guidance, expert submission reviewers, panelists and workshop leaders at the Challenge in Spring 2021, and more. Stay tuned for an announcement sharing details about our partners.

Past judges have included investors from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the founding CEO of Yahoo!, the Chief Strategy Officer of PATH, the President of Global Development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Product Manager for Health at Facebook, designers at IDEO.org, the President and CEO of Bioness, Inc. as well as board members from the Global Health Research Foundation and the International Aids Vaccine Initiative. By participating in the Challenge, student teams will receive the following:

  1. Exposure and sponsorship: Aside from the $10,000 grand prize to the winning team, all finalist teams will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to high-level judges who are interested in supporting student teams who win them over with funding, mentorship, and other in-kind support opportunities.

  2. Mentorship and networking: Finalist teams have the opportunity to network, not only with their peers from around the globe, but also with top Bay Area social investors, philanthropists, and educators who have committed to mentoring student teams through a series of workshops, talks, and one-on-one networking events to be held during the competition.

  3. Expert feedback: Ideas will be evaluated by top researchers and scientists in the field of global health hailing from from UC Berkeley, Stanford, UCSF, and other Bay Area schools, as well as technology and industry partners.


Partners

In previous years, we welcomed Challenge judges, team mentors, speakers and workshop leads, expert reviewers, and more from world leaders in health, design, tech, and impact investing, including DRK Foundation, IDEO.org, Kaiser Permanente Design Consultancy, Medtronic Labs, and PATH. If you’re interested in partnering or sponsoring the Challenge this year, please reach out.

The Application Process

  • November 1, 2020: Application opens.
  • December 2020: Round 1 review.
  • January 2021: Rounds 2 & 3 review. Finalists selected.
  • February-April 2021: Virtual Academy: Workshops and Mentoring for finalist teams.
  • May 1, 2021: Virtual Pitch Event & Award Ceremony.Visit the FAQ Page for more information.

The Challenge

The Team and Project Registration phase, which will begin in the fall of 2020. Semi-Finalists will be chosen and asked to submit full applications, which will be reviewed by our expert review panel. Finalist teams selected from this round will be invited to participate in the Virtual Academy from February-April 2021 for networking and learning activities, culminating in a public pitch event and awards ceremony on May 1.


Submit Your Application

The first round of submissions for the Challenge is now open. In this round, we ask you to provide team resumes, a short statement of purpose, and basic information about your project. We’re looking for teams with multi-disciplinary backgrounds; high-potential ideas; and innovative approaches to the challenges they address. Applications are due by December 15, 2020.

Apply now.