Inaugural Bay Area Global Health Innovation Challenge to encourage student-driven global health innovation

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Bay area universities, with backing from the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) and support from the HealthRoots Foundation are uniting to bring some friendly competition to the Bay Area in April 2016. UC Berkeley and Stanford University are organizing a competition calling on students from around the world to pitch their global health innovations and technology to a panel of esteemed leaders and venture capitalists, and for a $10,000 prize.

The two-day event in April will consist of a semi-finals showcase hosted at UC Berkeley on April 8, 2016 and a high-profile grand finale on center stage the next day at the 2016 CUGH Conference. CUGH represents more than 130 leading North American Universities with established global health programs and nearly 40 institutions from low- and middle-income countries. The annual conference is expected to bring in more than 2,000 attendees from around the world, and is being planned by UCSF Global Health Sciences and a local organizing committee of global health deans and leaders from schools including UC Berkeley, Stanford, UC Davis, the UC Global Health Institute, UCSD, USC, UCLA, and the University of Washington.

The inaugural Challenge is open to students at any level enrolled in any University in the world. They are required to submit either a pitch video or slide deck, and semi finalists will be invited to the Bay Area to compete. One of the most exciting aspects of the competition will be a high-profile panel of judges hailing who have help leadership roles at such organizations as PATH, The Gates Foundation, and top venture capital firms. They will critique, provide feedback, and ultimately decide on the grand prize winner.

If successful, the highly collaborative venture could be a fun way to bring together the sometimes disparate silos between technology and global health research–and also tap into some of the best and brightest ideas for global health. Where better to provide a launchpad for young innovators with a passion to change the status quo?  The energy and wealth from Silicon Valley combined with the global health research and academic excellence of the Bay Area academic space, are an ideal environment for University students desiring to develop and launch their global health technologies and innovations.

Submissions are being accepted through February 1, 2016. More information may be found at