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Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge

The Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge is an exciting extracurricular competition that gives students the opportunity to come up with meaningful solutions to big problems the world faces today related to health.

Learn more about the 2017 final Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge event and see photos and student comments about how much they learned and how much fun they had in the process of bringing their innovations forward. Check out the recap on UW TV. Find out how some of these teams got started and where they are going with their innovations next.

2016-17 Dates and Deadlines

Health Innovation Practicum | Thursdays 4:00-6:00pm, Fall Quarter
Gain knowledge of current healthcare systems local to global, and hear from successful innovators.
Innovative? Find Your People | All at the HUB Room 145, 5:30-7:00pm. Wed Oct 19, Wed Nov 2, Wed Nov 9, Thu Dec 1. Meet students from diverse majors and form interdisciplinary teams to prepare for the HIC.
Panel of Past Participants | Wed Nov 9, 5:30-7:30pm, HUB 145
Hear from participants from past Challenges and see how far they’ve come.
Prototype Funding Application | Applications open Nov 14, DEADLINE Mon, Dec 12, 5pm.
Funds are available for demonstration models or simulations that will help you showcase your idea.

Health Innovation Challenge Panels | All events at the HUB Room 214, 5:30-7:30pm. Wed Jan 11, Wed Jan 18, Tue Jan 24, Wed Feb 1. Essentials for teams, experts will cover the elevator pitch, market framework, customer development and finance.
Business Plan Practicum | Thursdays, 6:00-7:50pm, Winter Quarter, Paccar Shansby Auditorium
Speakers and resources that will help you understand how to build a business plan. Great preparation for the HIC! You can sit in without being registered for the class.
Science and Technology Showcase &Final Networking Night | Dempsey Hall, Anthony’s Forum, Thu Jan 19, STS 5:00-7:00pm, networking 7:00-8:30pm
Are you working on a technology that has potential for commercialization? Participate in the showcase and/or join us for networking to find teammates.
Workshop | Thu Jan 26, 4:30-5:30pm
“Take Your Innovation to the Next Step,” How to get past the screening round.
Mentor Connect Office Hours | January- February
Meet 1-on-1 with industry experts from technology, legal, marketing, and financial disciplines.
Team Registration | Jan 23 – Feb 6
Teams officially enter the HIC.
OFFICIAL ENTRY DEADLINE Screening Round | Mon Feb 6, 5pm
Submit a 5-7 page business summary for official entry into the HIC. Judges notify teams Yes/No by Feb 15.
Pitch Workshop for Top Teams | Wed Feb 22 5:30-8:00pm, HUB 214
Attendance is mandatory for all teams in the Seattle area going to the finals on Mar 1.
1-Page Business Summary Due | Thu Feb 23, 5pm
Summaries sent to every judge before the day of the Challenge so they can decide which demos to visit.
HOLLOMON HEALTH INNOVATION CHALLENGE | Wed, Mar 1, 1:00-6:00pm, HUB Lyceum, University of Washington
Teams set up demos/simulations in the morning and pitch to a room full of judges early afternoon. Reception follows.


Watch the video above to learn more about HIC.

The common thread is INNOVATION, the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge builds on the strengths of colleges and universities in the Pacific to provide a platform for interdisciplinary student teams to work on new solutions to existing problems, new approaches to helping people live healthier lives, new opportunities for care and treatment, new products/services to market. Challenges spark creativity, design thinking, novel solutions, and the potential for new companies. This challenge, much like the Buerk Center’s well-regarded Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge, is designed for those students who are passionate about health innovation and are determined to make a difference.

Innovations in health and healthcare that promote, impact, and monitor health are creating a paradigm shift in our approach to healthy living. In the United States, healthcare has entered a period of unprecedented change with the Affordable Care Act and the “triple aim,” the emphasis on care that is safer, more efficient, and more accessible. Worldwide, the goal is clear: a healthier future that revolves around reducing infectious and noncommunicable disease, increasing the safety of care, lowering the cost of health care delivery, expanding access, and introducing technologies that bring greater health and wellness to the populous.

Entry Requirements

Any student from a Pacific Northwest college or university who is enrolled in a degree-seeking program can participate in the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge (HIC). Teams must be student led. Cross-disciplinary teams are highly encouraged. The most successful teams have members with various skill sets from various departments, including built environments, law, engineering, business, policy, etc. Non-students can be members of a team, generally as advisers, but they can’t present at the HIC, nor can they receive prize money.

What is needed to enter?

What is needed to enter the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge?
Prototype funding application (Nov 14 – Dec 12, 2016)

All Entrants

  • Register your team (opens Jan 23, 2017)
  • 5-7 page Business Summary (due Feb 6, 2017)

Top Teams chosen to come to the final event

  • 1-page business summary (due Feb 23, 2017)
  • Pitch (at the HIC, March 1, 2017)
  • Demo or prototype (at the HIC, March 1, 2017)

Your submission into the competition is distributed to a large group of community professionals who act as judges.

We strongly encourage any team with concerns regarding intellectual property such as patent or copyright potential to either contact their University’s intellectual property office (for University-developed discoveries) or competent legal counsel (for non-University related discoveries) before submitting their proposal into the competition.

The University of Washington, the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, the Foster School of Business, and the organizers of the competition are not responsible for any proprietary information and/or intellectual property included in a submitted business summary.
Ultimately, protection of sensitive materials is the sole responsibility of the individual or team participating in the competition.


  1. Teams entering must have at least one full-time or part-time student on the team who is enrolled in a degree seeking program at an accredited college or university in the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Alaska, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. If you graduated the summer quarter prior to the year of the competition or later, you are considered a current student in the competition.
  2. The competition entry must be developed during the student’s tenure at the college or university. Students working with outside entrepreneurs must create their own original business plan and have responsibility for their own portion of the business.
  3. All submissions to the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge must live up to the higher ideals of the University of Washington. The team’s idea must be appropriate for a university-sponsored event. The Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship reserves the right to disqualify any entry that is its judgment violates the letter or the spirit of the competition or exceeds the bounds of social convention.
  4. If the team or company entering the competition is revenue positive, actual annual revenue cannot exceed $500k. (Please note this is different than the company’s projected revenue. This rule does not apply to projected revenue.)
  5. Eligible students can form a team with non-students, but for the sake of this competition, non-students will be considered as advisors.
  6. Students must have an ownership stake in the business or the potential for equity or employment.
  7. Only student team members are eligible to earn prize money. No payments will be made to non-students.

Note: The Director of the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship reserves the right to make the final determination of the eligibility of submitted business ventures.

Judging Criteria

Screening Round Requirements

  • 5-7 Page Business Summary
  • Due Date February 6, notification of advancement February 15

The first hurdle on your path toward the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge finals is to submit a winning business summary so your team is selected to be one of the Top Teams who are invited to participate in the final Challenge.

What should be included in the 5-7 page business summary?

    • Examples:
    • Definition of the Problem
      • Who cares about this problem? What will be different if you solve this problem? What is the size of the problem?
    • Team
      • Who are the individuals on the team? Do they have the skills to solve the problem? Have they engaged advisors, mentors, and experts from the community or industry?
    • Questions you should address (use your own format and style)
      • Have you defined the problem?
      • Have you clearly described the proposed solution?
      • If there is a demo, what is it? (prototype, simulation, proof of concept, poster, video)?
      • Is the solution original or is it a novel application of an existing product or service?
      • Has the team researched and described the market opportunity and the competitors?
      • Has the team interviewed potential customers? How many? What did they say?
      • What is the scope of the opportunity (dollars, units produced, global impact)?
      • Does the solution fit the problem? Does it demonstrate an appropriate balance between the cost of the solution and its impact on the problem?
      • What is an estimate of the cost to produce?
      • What is the estimated timeline for development leading to launch of the product/service?

Final Round Requirements

Top Teams that are invited to the final event held on March 1 must prepare:

      • 1-page business summary due Feb 23
      • 1-minute pitch, mandatory pitch clinic February 22
      • Demonstration or prototype

If your team makes it past the screening round you will be invited to participate in the live half-day competition final event. There the Top Teams have tables set up trade-show style with their prototypes on display. A member of each team gives a 1-minute pitch to the audience of 150+ professionals who will be judging and the judges then circulate and learn more from teams before picking their top choices for the prizes.

The Top HIC Teams that present on the day of the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge finals will be judged on their 1-page business summary, their pitch, their demo or prototype, and the potential for impact.

What should be included in the 1-page business summary?

  • The criteria and contents for the 1-page business summary are the same as those for the 5-7 page summary (above), just shorter and more concise.

What matters for the 1-minute pitch?

  • How motivated, enthusiastic is the team?
  • Does the pitch convey the essential elements of the problem, the solution, and the market opportunity?
  • Does the team understand the problem/solution (from both technical and marketing perspectives)?
  • Has the pitch generated enthusiasm to see the demo?

What should the demonstration or prototype table setup include?

  • Does the Demo work? If it is not yet complete, could it work?
  • Has the team provided test results and validation?
  • Can the team describe the process and how it works?
  • Can they describe how it could be improved?
  • Is this solution efficient? Does it make optimal use of resources?
  • How practical is this solution?
  • What would it cost to make?
  • Is this original work? Is it a novel application of an existing product? Is it off-the-shelf?

What questions should be answered for the potential for impact?

  • Could this team and this solution have a substantial impact in the market? In healthcare? In people’s lives?
Interested in entering the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge? Want to meet other students who want to join your team? There are multiple ways to find team members:

  1. Team Formation Nights
  2. Team Formation Web Portal
  3. Health Innovation Practicum
  4. Capstone Course in Your Major

As long as you have one student on the team who is enrolled in a college or university in the Pacific Northwest, your team can enter the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge.

Questions? Email Terri Butler at

  1. Team Formation Night
    Informal meetups are held on the UW Seattle campus where students can come out and find others who have an interest in working on solving problems together. Below are the dates for the events during 2016-17. Additional opportunities to meet others are listed on the “Dates and Deadlines” document.Innovative? Find Your People Meetups
    Have an idea? Great. Now you just need to design it, model it, engineer it, create a plan, find funding, and do the marketing. Phew. We know people who can help you. Meet other students who want to join your team. Many groups go on to enter the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge, Environmental Innovation Challenge and/or the Business Plan Competition. No registration necessary. Food and drink provided. Questions? Email Terri Butler,

Wed, Oct 19, 5:30-7:00pm, HUB 145
Wed, Nov 2, 5:30-7:00pm, HUB 145
Wed, Nov 9, 5:30-7:30pm, HUB 145
Thu, Dec 1, 5:30-7:30pm, HUB 145

  • Team Formation Web Portal
    Find teammates through the Team Formation Web Portal. Students log in with their UW net ID (non-UW students email us for a login ID). In this web portal you will find some students who have an idea and need more team members to help out and you will also find students with specific skills who are interested in innovation and want to join a team. Think of it as a match-making site for innovators!
  • Health Innovation Practicum
    The fall quarter hands-on Health Innovation Practicum course is another way students can dive in and learn about health challenges while working on team-based projects. Many of the class teams decide to continue on into the extracurricular Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge where they will connect with mentors and further develop their concepts. Learn more in the Health Innovation Practicum: ENTRE 579/490 tab below.
  • Capstone Course Teams
    You may be in an engineering, science, or other major that requires a capstone project as a degree requirement. Why not build on that capstone by bringing it in to the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge where the visibility of your accomplishments can be increased and mentors you connect with can help you take it to the next level?

Health Innovation Practicum

Health Innovation Practicum, Autumn 2017, Thursdays, 5:00-6:50 p.m., Paccar Hall 391
ENTRE 445/545
Instructors: Emer Dooley, and Russell Benaroya.

Course description: Course description: The goal of this seminar is to help students innovate and create solutions to the toughest health challenges we face –on a domestic or global scale. Students will form cross-disciplinary teams around project concepts chosen by the class and present the team’s solutions to classmates and a panel of expert judges who will score the presentations. Although not required, teams are invited and encouraged to go beyond the class to compete in the 2018 Health Innovation Challenge.

Readings: All Readings are online and linked from the Canvas homepage and syllabus.

Great Resources

Learning objectives:

  • Learn about some of the biggest challenges in the health field are, and how various actors are tackling them.
  • Learn from best-in-class innovators and industry experts about solutions emerging in health.
  • Evaluate business opportunities in health as outlined by guest speakers, required readings and world news.
  • Gain hands-on experience in creating business solutions for issues in Health and pitching your ideas to panels of experts.
Class Schedule
Date Topic / Tentative Class Plan Class Preparation Class Guests Links
CLASS 1: 9/28/2017 Top Healthcare Issues and Opportunities

The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) pegs US healthcare spending at about $10,000 per person per year, without exceptional outcomes. That’s about $3.2 trillion dollars.  Almost 90% of that spending is in medical services, but only 20% of healthcare outcomes are determined by the medical system. We’ll cover this and other issues in healthcare.


Cascadia Capital: The Future Health Ecosystem Today. Feb 2016. Great overview of where the problems and opportunities are.

PWC Top health industry issues of 2017  -A bit wonky and requires some knowledge of the industry, but scan the top ten issues, and see where the money is flowing.

Khan Academy: Introduction to the US Healthcare System. A little slow, but great if you have no background whatsoever.

Watch this video: If airlines worked like healthcare Kevin Cable, Managing Director, Healthcare and Digital Health, Cascadia Capital.
CLASS 2: 10/5 2017 Business Model Canvas; Pitch Ideas; Choose Teams. Business Model Canvas; Pitch Ideas; Choose Teams.
CLASS 3: 10/12/2017 How Money Flows in Health 

The US system traditionally operated around three distinct groups: Patients, Providers (Doctors, Pharmacies, Hospitals etc.) and Payers (Generally companies, government, insurers).  We will cover how creating a business model for a health innovation hinges on finding a way to capture a revenue stream, in a market where traditionally consumers don’t choose or pay for the services they need, and where providers are incented to “do something” rather than help consumers avoid the medical system entirely.

Henry Albrecht Founder and CEO, Limeade; Ralph Derrickson, CEO, CarenaMD; Mike McSherry , CEO Xealth
CLASS 4: 10/19/2017 Student pitches. Each group will present three slides:

  1. Proposed Solution (Value Proposition)
  2. What is the market size (TAM or Total Addressable Market)

Upload your presentation in advance. See the assignment here

Invited panel of judges who will become team mentors. We will spend the class giving feedback and offering suggestions to help move the project along.
CLASS 5: 10/26/2017 Navigating regulation

Few industries can compete with Healthcare for the challenges posed to entrepreneurs by regulations. These include long-standing regulations such as FDA and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)  to newer strictures around Health IT, such as Meaningful Use and The Affordable Care Act. Learn which regulation may shape the implementation of your idea.

David Schoolcraft, Co-Chair, Health Care Group with a practice focusing on health care and information technology, Ogden Murphy Wallace
CLASS 6: 11/2/2017 Sharing Risk / Aligning Interests Mike Hilton, Chief Product Office, Accolade.
CLASS 7: 11/9/2017 Capitalizing a Healthcare Startup

In 2016 total investment in healthcare was $16 billion: $8.1 billion in biopharma, $3.8 billion in devices and $4.2 billion in digital health. The digital health category is growing fast, with the most money going to companies focused on genomics and sequencing, followed by analytics and big data, wearables and telemedicine. Learn how these investment decisions are made and whether your idea is fundable.

How Venture Capital Works, Bob Zider, Harvard Business Review 1998; Bootstrap Finance: The art of start-ups, Amar Bhidé, Harvard Business Review 1992.

Background: 2016 Year End Funding Report: A reality check for digital health. Rockhealth. 2017 Healthcare Investing Report, Silicon Valley Bank.

Kirsten Morbeck  and Eric Bell, Managing Directors, Springrock Ventures
CLASS 8: 11/16/2017 Data in Healthcare

Some of the greatest opportunities in healthcare lie in the data space: Intuitive, accessible, sharable personal health records that interpret terabytes of genomics data. Artificial Intelligence systems that can help providers sort through the masses of email, lab results, scans, referrals and prioritize or triage depending on criticality. Analytics systems in precision and personalized medicine, and analytics to support the drive towards value-based medicine. Learn where the opportunities and gaps are in this space.

TA McCann, Serial entrepreneur, Founder Rival IQ, Entrepreneur in Residence, Providence Health and Services.
NO CLASS 11/23/2017  Happy Thanksgiving!
CLASS 9: 11/30/2017 From Nail it to Scale it

The success of every company depends on scaling from that first employee, product and customer to a sustainable enterprise with multiple teams, locations, partners customer and stakeholders. How can you navigate that transition and build an enduring organization?

Chris Devore, Partner, Founders Co-op, Managing Director, Techstars Seattle and Derek Streat, Founder and CEO, C-SATS
CLASS 10: 12/7/2017 Final presentations

Class will be in Douglas Forum on 4th floor of SEEC with invited guests. Class will also extend to 6:30pm to give time for feedback and socializing.

Prototype Funding for teams entering the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge

Prototype funding can spur development and help convey your idea to a broader audience. We have funding available to teams that are entering the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge this year to help with creating a physical model, object, or device.

Student teams are invited to apply for funds that can be used to:

  • Purchase materials
  • Rent equipment
  • Hire short-term workers with high level skills beyond the team’s capacity

Teams must commit to entering the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge if they submit an application for prototype funding.

Awards are generally between $500-$3000, although other requests will be considered.

Funds can NOT be used for:

  • Marketing
  • Business cards
  • Displays
  • Signage
  • Computers
  • Digital devices
  • Legal or professional fees

Information you will need to complete the application:

  • Current student team member’s information. (We understand this may change.)
  • Description of the problem you are attempting to solve.
  • Description of the solution you are proposing.
  • Description of the prototype you will build to demonstrate your solution.
  • A budget estimate (itemized list) to build your prototype. Changes are expected but any major changes must be approved by Terri Butler,

Application window opens November 14, 2016
Application deadline is December 12, 2016, 5pm

Teams will be notified of the amount of funding they will receive by December 21, 2016.

Questions? Contact Terri Butler,

Resources to Help You

Resources to help you with your business plan include our HIC panels of experts , office hours with experts available for 1-on-1 meetings, and Resource Nights on Thursdays.

Office Hours

Dates TBD January-February, 2017

Take your innovation challenge team to the next level by signing up for half-hour, one-on-one appointments with experts in our Office Hours series. Expertise includes legal, regulatory, marketing, financial, business summary critique, etc. Available to teams entering the HIC, EIC, and/or BPC competitions.
Medical device teams, this is a must!

Book your appointment online through MentorConnect.
NOTE: MentorConnect requires a UW login. If you are a student at another college or university, please contact Amy Sallin at
. Students only!

Health Innovation Panels

Dates TBD in January and February 2017

Resource Nights Thursdays

Attending Resource Nights provide a great way to quickly pick up on business knowledge to help with your business summary. This can be taken as a class for UW students or is open to students and the public who just want to sit it. Can’t make it in person? Classes will be streamed live and the links posted afterward. More information can be found on the Resources night page.

SEBA’s Science and Technology Showcase and Last Chance Team Formation Night

January 2017, date TBD

If you’re a student putting together a team for one of the competitions or a student who would like to join a team, take this opportunity to meet the participants and winners of SEBA’s Science and Technology Showcase (taking place just before the networking gets going) for a chance to meet potential teammates.

Sponsors and Prizes

2017 Prizes:
$15,000 Grand Prize sponsored by the Hollomon Family
$10,000 Second Place Prize sponsored by the Herbert B. Jones Foundation
$5,000 Third Place Prize sponsored by Fenwick & West

Thank you to our 2017 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge sponsors for their generosity and dedication to helping students achieve their potential.

Game Changers:
The Hollomon Family
UW Foster School of Business
UW College of Engineering

Herbert B. Jones Foundation
WRF Capital
Fenwick & West

K&L Gates
Perkins Coie
UW Bioengineering
UW Biology
Amazon Catalyst

Friends of the HIC:
Kent & Lisa Sacia
Emer Dooley and Rob Short
Devindra and Manisha Chainani
Annie Young-Scrivner

Questions? Contact Terri Butler via email: or phone: 206-685-5538.

Join the conversation & keep in the loop on dates and deadlines:

Attend an event

Connect with the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge