Independence Blue Cross Game Changers Challenge: $150K for Health and Wellness Ideas, Apply NowBy William Yang |
How do we make Philadelphia healthier? If you think you have a solution, your idea could win $50,000 (and expert support) to turn it into a reality.
In an effort to help change outcomes in the Philadelphia region, Independence Blue Cross has teamed up with Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Venturef0rth, and ?What If! Innovation Partners to launch the “IBX Game Changers Challenge.”
The Challenge aims to seek innovative proposals from the community to improve the health and wellness of the city. Nonprofit or for-profit organizations, individuals, health professionals, or new companies are welcome to attend the challenge. Preference will be given to ideas that give rise to self-sustaining business entities.
The need for urgent action is clear. Philadelphia ranked last of 67 Pennsylvania counties in a study done by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In addition, Men’s Health and Women’s Health magazines also rated Philadelphia the 98th and 97th among a ranking of the 100 healthiest cities. The rankings are based on criteria such as smoking prevention, diet and exercise, access to medical care, and other community and economic factors.
Ten areas of health are the targets of this challenge:
- Promoting fitness, exercise, or other healthy behavior
- Providing access to safe fitness facilities
- Promoting healthy eating habits
- Providing access to healthy food
- Combating obesity, especially childhood obesity
- Encouraging the use of preventive medicine
- Encouraging medication adherence
- Smoking cessation
- Access to health care for elders
- Mobile health, including apps, widgets, and other smartphone-based programs
Proposals dealing with tech and mobile applications, new companies, devices, products, educational programs, or public awareness campaigns that drive healthy behaviors are suitable to enter the challenge. All proposals will be evaluated by its feasibility, scalability, and impact on issues regarding health and wellness.
Finalists will be announced on Monday, July 16th and all finalists should present their ideas for 10 minutes, followed by a 5-minute Q&A session on Tuesday, July 24th.
Three final winners will be announced on Monday, July 30th and will each receive:
- A $50,000 grant toward implementation of their product or program
- Up to three months of desk space, business support, and advisory services at Venturef0rth, a health care-focused incubator in Philadelphia
- Business mentoring services from Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs
- A consulting session provided by ?What If! Innovation Partners for each winner to help them further build out their idea and maximize its impact