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Clinician Entrepreneurs: Business Startup Competitions And Hackathons

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Clinician entrepreneurs are uniquely qualified to create novel solutions to some of the largest healthcare industry problems because of their combination of business knowledge and medical experience. But getting a startup off the ground can be a daunting task. That’s where business startup competitions and hackathons come in.

These events bring together clinician entrepreneurs from all over the world to network, collaborate, and pitch their ideas to investors, industry experts, and potential customers. Whether you’re just starting or looking to take your business to the next level, these events offer a chance to gain valuable exposure, make meaningful connections, and win resources and support to help bring your vision to life.

So don’t miss this opportunity to join the forefront of healthcare innovation and turn your ideas into a reality!

What Are Business Startup Competitions And Hackathons?

Business startup competitions and hackathons bring together business professionals, developers, designers, and entrepreneurs to collaborate, create and develop innovative concepts/ideas, products, or services.

Startup competitions frequently aim to assist early-stage startups in getting off the ground by providing mentorship, funding, and resources. Participants pitch their business concepts to a panel of judges. The winner (or winners) receives various rewards, including seed funding, networking opportunities, mentorship, and office space.

In the last two years, U.S. healthcare startups received a staggering amount of US $1.7 billion over two years of funding. The healthcare industry is undergoing an evolution, with different startups heralding new technologies and ideas in the following areas:

  • Improvement of the patient’s quality of care
  • Breaking down barriers in data collection and data sharing
  • Introduction of new drug discoveries and speeding up the drug discovery process
  • Finding ground-breaking technologies and drugs to cure rare diseases
  • The healthcare industry organizes regular events where entrepreneurs showcase their ideas and innovative solutions

Hackathons, on the other hand, are intensive events that bring people together to collaborate on software or hardware projects throughout a short period of time – typically 24-48 hours – in a focused setting. Teams of participants usually form intending to produce a working prototype of their goods or service. The objective is to create a minimum viable product (MVP) that may be presented to prospective investors or clients.

Both business startup competitions and hackathons provide an opportunity for individuals and teams to present their talents, acquire visibility and even secure finance for their ideas.

Why Should Clinicians Participate In Business Startup Competitions And Hackathons?

Clinicians can contribute their distinctive insights and experience to innovation and problem-solving in the healthcare industry by participating in business startup contests and hackathons. These gatherings give healthcare professionals a chance to work together with people from different backgrounds, such as business owners, financiers, and IT experts, to create cutting-edge solutions to current problems.

Furthermore, participating in these activities can also assist doctors in developing their entrepreneurial, leadership, and teamwork abilities, which can benefit their careers and future endeavors.

The Benefits Of Participating In A Business Startup Competition Or Hackathon

A few advantages of participating in a hackathon or business startup competition include the following:

  • Networking: Meet and establish connections with other business owners, financiers, mentors, and potential partners.
  • Exposure: Raise awareness of your concept and get insightful advice from expert professionals.
  • Validation: Evaluate your idea’s validity and get credit for your hard work.
  • Prizes and Funding: Winning financial awards and investments will help you realize your project.
  • Skill Development: Develop your skills by picking up new ones, honing your pitch, and creating a business strategy.
  • Mentorship: Gain insight and direction from seasoned businesspeople and investors.
  • Team Building: Build a team of like-minded people that share your interests to bring your idea or concept to life.

Participating in a business startup challenge or hackathon can assist entrepreneurs in honing their ideas, gaining access to beneficial resources and connections, and potentially launching their businesses.

How To Find The Right Business Startup Competition Or Hackathon For You?

Consider the following actions to choose the best startup competition or hackathon:

1.  Identify Your Goals

Analyze – what do you hope to accomplish by participating in the startup competition or hackathon? Are you looking for networking opportunities, exposure, mentorship, or funding? Knowing your objectives will aid in selecting the right competition.

2.  Research The Competition

Study the competition’s history, the people in charge of it, the kinds of businesses that have taken part, and what they have achieved by doing so. The information gained can help you determine whether the competition is reputable and suitable for your needs.

3.  Consider The Competition’s Focus

Does the competition center on a particular industry, technology, or issue that interests you? Make sure the contest aligns with your interests and objectives.

4.  Check The Eligibility Criteria

In order to participate in the competition, you must meet the eligibility criteria, which may include age, geography, and stage of development.

5.  Review The Prize Package

You must consider the prize package’s value and whether it aligns with your objectives. You must also determine if you are primarily interested in funding or more towards mentoring or exposure.

6.  Network With Participants

Try to engage in networking with other participants. Find out about their backgrounds and what they intend to take away from the event. Learning about their experiences may help you to make a more informed decision.

How To Make The Most Of A Business Startup Competition Or Hackathon

  • Research: Learn about the competition’s or hackathon’s objectives, judging standards, and the kinds of projects that have been successful in the past.
  • Network: Engage in networking to meet potential team members or investors by attending networking events or joining online forums linked to the contest or hackathon.
  • Prepare: Create a strong business strategy and pitch deck, and rehearse your pitch to get ready. Ensure you are well-versed in your target market, the competition, and how your product differs.
  • Build a Team: Consider assembling a broad group of individuals with complementary talents, such as a combination of technical and business knowledge.
  • Focus on Value Proposition: Your solution should offer your target clients something of clear and immediate value. Make sure your pitch successfully conveys this.
  • Be Flexible: Be receptive to the advice of judges, mentors, and other professionals, and be prepared to modify your business plan in response to their recommendations.
  • Follow Up: Maintain contact with the people you met throughout the competition, and be sure to keep your end of any agreements you made.

In general, networking, preparation, and executing a well-thought-out business idea with a compelling value proposition are the keys to success in a business startup challenge or hackathon.

Popular Business Startup Competitions And Hackathons For Clinician Entrepreneurs

There are many business startup competitions and hackathons happening around the world, and here are a few of the popular ones listed:


This event has powerful backers such as GE and Asimov Ventures. It is a San Francisco-based conference focusing mainly on 3-D printing and bioprinting. 3-D tools such as AR and VR are also given importance. Judges and mentors are an eclectic mix from Cincinnati Incorporated, National Science Foundation, and GE Ventures.

Normally held in April, prize money includes US $15,000, one-on-one coaching, and an opportunity to interact with GE Venture’s investors and other experts.

Click here to know more about future events.

2.  Accenture Healthtech Innovation Challenge

The event provides an opportunity for startups, life sciences groups, and healthcare providers to find innovative solutions to pressing healthcare requirements. This challenge revolves around three main areas: Public health, digital health solutions, and healthcare delivery. Local rounds are also held in Tokyo, Sydney, Dublin, and Boston, with San Francisco presenting the final round.

Media exposure, networking opportunities, and access to investors and funding groups are the key benefits of this challenge. The different rounds are held from November to January of each year.

3.  Archon Genomics XPrize

This event focuses mainly on genome sequencing and personalized medicine. There is a $10 million award for teams that sequence the 100 human genomes in an economical, correct, rapid order. The requirement is that these genomes have to be sourced from centenarians who are alive.

The purpose of this event is to study disease-resistant rare genomes and also help promote longevity. The validation protocol is used as the standard to study and compare the team results. Validation protocols are a genome sequencing method designed by Express Scripts and Nature Genetics.

4.  Beanstalk Start-Up Competition

This event is one of Europe’s largest healthcare technology innovation festivals. Held in November, it is attended by almost 100 finalists from different countries worldwide.

5.  Collision Pitch

This event is held in New Orleans, LA. Normally this event is reserved for startups that have raised less than $3 million in startup capital. The business model for the startup has to be consistent. These ventures are filtered, and the top 70 apply for an opportunity to compete in front of thousands on the Centre Stage.

Top venture capital firms like Aspect Ventures and First Round Capital judge the competition. This competition is normally held around May every year.

6.  Nursing-Led Hackathons

These hackathons empower nurses through the creation of nurse-led, interdisciplinary teams. They help ideate, create solutions, and pitch ideas that address workplace well-being and other challenges. Nurse Hackathons provide a cash prize of US $250,000 in grant funding for nurses.

Sonsiel supports nurse innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Sonseil believes that nurses act as innovators when they transform the healthcare sector and patients’ general health. These grants help to create endless opportunities in nursing. During these nursing hackathons, the ideas pitched by different teams should lead to clinician well-being and address various workplace challenges.

The common aims include the following purposes:

  • Give clinicians more flexibility and autonomy
  • Ideas to improve efficiency and improve the environment
  • Provide front-line teams with the help they require
  • Ensure adequate welfare and well-being of patients

This event helps to build a sustainable nursing workforce for the future. It also helps to retain a diverse nursing workforce in a situation where the nursing shortage is rife. Many nurses participate as first-time hackers who participate by solving various real-life issues that they have confronted in their workplace. Nurses, designers, academics, nursing students, developers, and design experts worldwide participate in evolving solutions.

7.  Health 2.0 Venture Connect

Venture Connect gives companies that are ready for the first round of venture capital funding a platform to connect with different investors and venture capitalists. There are two avenues – one for consumer-facing companies and the other for professional-facing solutions. These contestants are further filtered, and six finalists are chosen to present their startup ideas before the judges and mentors. These teams win the final prize.

Normally, this competition is held in September.

8.  The Health Tech Bootcamp

It is a three-day weekend event for medical, technology, and business startups to present ideas for healthcare startups. Mentors are available to fine-tune the various startup ideas. Most of the judges are from the healthcare and technology industry.

The winning teams are awarded prizes. Normally held during May of every year, the winning teams have an opportunity to join the Biotech, Health Science Research, and Medical Devices industries in San Antonio, Texas.

9.  The HealthTech Start-Up Competition

Companies such as Insight Product Development, Matter, Propel, and iBio Institute host an annual startup competition in Chicago every year. Here, startups in medical device and digital health startups are selected by Global Corporations, academia, and community health organizations to select the best startups. The cash prize is US $35,000.

Selections are based on the effectiveness of the solutions, business plans, team make-ups, and attractiveness to investors. Universities, Banks, and the American Heart Association have participated in previous competitions.

10.  Hello Tomorrow Challenge

This event is a global science and technology competition where Digital health, Global health, Industrial Biotech, Data, and AI are judged. There is the involvement of mainly deep-tech entrepreneurs. Promising startups have the opportunity to access networking opportunities and deliver real-world solutions.

The prize money is US $100,000. This competition is mainly held between September and January.

11.  MedCity INVEST Pitch Perfect

This annual conference is held in Chicago, where large pharma and healthcare companies participate. The competition oversees categories including Bio-Pharma, Diagnostics, Health IT, Health Services, and Medical Services.

The Mid-America Healthcare Investors Network sponsors the event. The competition is held in Chicago in April.

12.  Med Tech Innovator

It is a non-profit medical technology competition. This event mainly covers early to mid-stage state medical companies, digital health companies, and diagnostics. Investors gain exposure through the startup’s pitch sessions, online application reviews, and audience competitions. There are three programs: the Pitch, the Showcase, and the Accelerator.

Leading medical device firms such as Johnson & Johnson are involved. In 2018, the prize money awarded was US $500,000.

13.  Pediatric Pitch Competition

The event focuses on innovative medical devices and digital health startups, with a special focus on pediatric care. The sponsors of this event are United States’ 8 top leading pediatric hospitals. All startups meet each of the eight sponsoring hospitals one by one.

Cash prizes are awarded to the winners. This event is held in Austin, Texas.

14.  Precision Medicine World Conference

The conference hosts the Most Promising Company award for companies in Diagnostics and Therapeutics, and health technology fields. This conference increases the visibility and exposure for startups in these fields and access leading investors in the healthcare field.

These competitions normally take place in January in Santa Clara, California. Many reputed venture capital firms, including Google Ventures, Third Rock Ventures, and KPCB, participate in these competitions.

15.  Prime Health Challenge

This event aims to improve patient health and experience and the population’s health. This event is held in Denver and lasts over three months. Judges evaluate the various solutions offered by startups over three months for their commercial readiness and proposed solutions.

Various industry leaders who participate in these competitions mentor startups. The winning team wins prize money of US $150,000, along with an opportunity to pilot the product at various institutions. This event is held in October every year.

16.  PULSE@MassChallenge

This event supports digital health startups. The winning teams are paired with leading institutions in their respective digital health field. Every winning team is given office space. It has to follow a structured management process and access expert advice from industry experts.

The prize money is US $250,000 in equity-free prizes. This challenge is normally held in Boston in September.

17.  SplashX Invent Health – Precision Health

HP and Vator are the sponsors. It is a quarterly, salon-style tech talk with wide participation from innovators, investors, founders, and C-level executives. There are two categories: Splash Chats and Splash Talks. This event features 20-minute talks with industry leaders in the healthcare industry. Different topics feature in the different sessions. Personalized medicine and preventive care are a few examples.

When startup entrepreneurs get an opportunity to present before industry leaders and peers, they can invent, improve and scale up their startups with such inputs. This event is held in Palo Alto in September.

18.  TechCrunch Start-Up Battlefield

An online technology publisher, TechCrunch, hosts this event. There is a cash prize of US $50,000. The teams get tremendous media exposure. There is no participation fee. The success rate of previous competitors is notable.

In the past years, almost US $8 billion in funding was raised. Many startups had successful businesses after participating in this event. Startups can network, attend workshops, and participate in a virtual hackathon. This event is held in San Francisco in September.

19.  VentureWell BMEidea

This event is open to university-level undergraduate and graduate students in the Biomedical field. This event focuses on using technology to solve healthcare and clinical problems. The judges who evaluate this event study the following aspects:

  • Technical, regulatory, and economic feasibility
  • Contribution to Healthcare
  • Technological innovation
  • Potential for commercial growth

This competition is held in Hadley, Massachusetts, in April. Apk Ticket

20.  Startup Health Festival

Startup Health Festival is an annual event focusing on the intersection of health and technology. It brings together entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, and healthcare industry leaders to showcase and discuss the latest advancements in healthcare technology.

The festival is designed to foster collaboration and partnerships between different stakeholders, with a focus on promoting the development of new solutions to improve health outcomes and make healthcare more accessible and affordable.

The event features keynote speeches, panel discussions, demos, and networking opportunities. It serves as a platform for entrepreneurs, investors, and healthcare professionals to share insights and connect with one another.

Note: These events may have different eligibility criteria and selection processes, so check the specific details and requirements before applying.

The Takeaway

For several reasons, clinician entrepreneurs should participate in hackathons and business startup competitions. These gatherings allow doctors to present their ideas, get professional inputs, network with other businesspeople, incubators, and investors, and secure project funding.

Additionally, participating in such events can assist physicians in gaining important abilities in marketing, public speaking, and project management, all of which are essential for any organization to succeed. Participating in startup contests and hackathons can help physicians promote their companies and provide doors for alliances, collaborations, and mentoring.

Participating in these events may help clinical entrepreneurs immensely by giving them the tools, opportunity, and resources they need to realize their ideas and thrive in the cutthroat business world.

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