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2019

Wild-Card Hackathon: Top entrepreneurs compete to tackle health challenges

23rd August 2019

30 competitors form teams and begin the journey

Thirty of Europe’s most promising healthcare entrepreneurs joined forces in Amsterdam on 31 March 2019 for a week-long challenge as part of EIT Health’s Wild Card programme. Wild Card is designed to take participants, collaborating in high-performing teams, on an entrepreneurial journey so they can evolve their ideas into potentially transformative health products or solutions.

The intense week-long Hackathon will see a diverse group of entrepreneurs form teams and collaborate on a series of tasks designed to maximise the benefits of teamwork and business skill improvement.

It is the beginning of a months-long process to determine the best two teams, who will share in a total of €4 million in funding and receive further support in bringing their innovative products or solutions to market.

This year the teams will work to address one of two challenges:

  • Mental and Brain Heath: How to improve prediction, diagnosis and treatment to fight mental disorders and strengthen brain health.
  • Digital Biomarkers: How to improve early diagnostics with the application of digital biomarkers.

The 31 March-5 April Hackathon in Amsterdam will specifically challenge the participants on defining the medical and clinical unmet need, and interrogating assumptions and feasibility of their proposed solutions, so that the original idea is strengthened, and a business model is designed. This is achieved through support provided by high-profile mentors and coaches.

Next steps in the journey

At the end of the week, the teams will make pitches. Judges will rate the pitches and decide which teams and ideas go through to the next stage of Wild Card – Business Model Validation, a 10-week acceleration programme. The ultimate goal is to identify and award two winning teams with Wild Card project status.

“EIT Health is hugely excited to bring the second year of Wild Card to Amsterdam”, said Jorge Fernandez Garcia, Director of Innovation at EIT Health. “The Hackathon is a great platform to push our shortlisted candidates beyond limits; of their own skills, but also of innovation and science itself. The week also provides the opportunity for all participants to form valuable networks with peers and mentors who can support them throughout their entrepreneurial journey. Wild Card Programme, now in its second year, is a call to action for Europe’s innovators and we are looking for the brightest minds to help solve some of Europe’s most pressing health challenges. Our hope is that by the end of the week, we are really on our way to find the next breakthroughs in medical sciences.”

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