Home19 Top Healthcare Startup Competitions

19 Top Healthcare Startup Competitions

If you’re a startup in the healthcare space, there has never been a more exciting time to unleash a new innovation to the world. For instance, the top startups in healthcare received a staggering $1.7 billion in funding over the last two years.

The healthcare industry is being reimagined with the help of bright and bold entrepreneurs identifying amazing opportunities to improve quality of care, break down barriers in data sharing and data collection, finding new ways to speed up the drug discovery process, or finding cures for rare diseases.

As investors are opening their deep pockets to new healthcare startups, there are more than 20 events organized each year which give entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their ideas and innovative solutions. These events are attended by industry professionals, investors, and coaches who can help take your startup to the next level.

Check out the relevant annual healthcare startup events below. Your future investor may be in attendance.



San Francisco, CA

Powered by GE and Asimov Ventures, 3DHEALS2018 is a San Francisco-based conference focused on healthcare 3D printing and bioprinting. The conference includes a pitch competition for early-stage companies with a focus in 3D or bioprinting or 3D visualization tools like AR or VR.  Judges include notable directors and C-suite members from Cincinnati Incorporated, GE Ventures, and the National Science Foundation, among others. Rewards include one-one-one coaching for the company’s pitch, as well as opportunities to interact with GE’s experts and investors. Winners of the competition will also receive a $15,000 safe note from the Asimov Ventures VC Fund. This year’s conference was held from April 20 to 21.


2. Accenture HealthTech Innovation Challenge

San Francisco, CA

Powered by Accenture, the HealthTech Innovation Challenge brings startups, life sciences companies, and healthcare organizations together to tackle prominent issues in healthcare. Themes of the Challenge include improving public health, digital health solutions, and healthcare delivery. Select competitors are invited to compete in regional rounds in Tokyo, Sidney, Dublin, or Boston, and the finalists will be invited to the Startup Health Festival in San Francisco. Winners of the competition receive media exposure, the opportunity to connect and network with peers, investors, and influencers, and practical experience with Accenture’s Innovation Architecture and design thinking approach. The competition will be held from November 1, 2018 to January 7, 2019.


Bright Prospects for Regenerative Medicine Industry, as Samumed Raises $438 Million

3. Archon Genomics XPRIZE

The XPRIZE inspires innovations in genome sequencing and personalized medicine. The competition recognizes the first team to sequence 100 human genomes in an accurate, economical, and rapid process, and awards them a $10 million dollar reward. These 100 human genomes are donated by 100 centenarians (ages 100 and over), and represent a unique opportunity to research “rare genes” that are resistant to disease, and conducive to health and longevity. Participating teams are judged against the Validation Protocol, a set of standards to measure genome sequencing created by Express Scripts and Nature Genetics.


4. Beanstalks Startup Competition

London, England

An international competition for healthcare technology startups, Beanstalks is part of the Giant Health Event — one of Europe’s largest and most valuable healthcare technology innovation festivals. Finalists pitch their solutions to a panel of judges and to an audience in November 2018. 2018’s panel of judges will include Dr Min Hu, investment manager at NCL Technology Ventures, a London-based venture capital firm focused on healthcare and life sciences firms. The 2017 edition of the competition boasted a 100 applications from startups from over 20 countries in 4 continents.


5. Collision PITCH

New Orleans, LA

Open to early-stage startups with less than $3 million in funding and a consistent business model, PITCH brings companies together to compete in a live on-stage battle in New Orleans, LA. The top 70 startups that apply compete for an opportunity to present in front of thousands on Center Stage at Collision – one of the leading tech conferences in the US. The competition is reputed for having judges from leading Venture Capitalist firms including Aspect Ventures and First Round Capital, and for exposing competing firms to media outlets from around the world. Next year’s conference will be hosted on May 20-23.

6. Health 2.0 VentureConnect

Santa Clara, CA

Part of the Health 2.0 Annual Fall Conference, VentureConnect gives “Series A ready” companies a platform to connect with investors and venture capitalists as the most funding ready startup. The competition typically consists of two tracks – for companies with consumer facing and professional facing solutions. The six most promising finalists work with a group of expert mentors to refine their pitches, and then present their ideas in front of judges and an audience to compete to be crowned one of two startup champions. This year’s competition will be hosted on September 16-18.


Easing Pain With Virtual Reality: What US Health Providers Can Learn From Their French Counterparts

7. The HealthTech Boot Camp

San Antonio, TX

The HealthTech Bootcamp is a 3 day weekend event for individuals in the medical, technology, and business sectors to develop ideas for healthcare startups. Teams are encouraged to work with expert mentors in order to execute their vision for the improvement of the healthcare space. The event culminates in a pitch competition with judges from the health and technology industry, with teams vying to win prizes. Successful teams will have the opportunity to join the Biotech, Health Science Research, and Medical Device industries in San Antonio, TX. This year’s event was held on May 11 – 13.


8. HealthTECH Startup Competition

Chicago, IL

Insight Product Development, MATTER, and PROPEL – iBio Institute are co-hosting its annual Startup Competition in November 2018. Ten top early stage medical device and digital health startups from the Midwest will be selected by experts from global corporations, academia, investors, and community health organizations, and will compete for $35,000 in cash and prizes. Startups will be judged based on the effectiveness of their solutions, business plans, team make-ups, and attractiveness to investors. Previous partners of the competition include Bank of America Merril Lynch, the American Heart Association, and Northwestern University.


9. Hello Tomorrow Challenge


The Hello Tomorrow Global Challenge is a science and technology competition featuring 12 industry tracks, including Digital Health, Global Health, Industrial Biotech, and Data & AI.  The competition is designed specifically for deep-tech entrepreneurs, and aims to connect promising enterprises to real world solutions. The Challenge offers victors the chance to pitch in front of 400 industry experts, meet with international media, have access to industry summits, and win a €100K grand prize. The competition is scheduled to begin in September 2018 and conclude in January 2019.


Genomic Medicine Firm, Lucence, Gets $20m to Expand Coverage in the U.S.

10. Interface Challenge


The Interface Challenge aims to make digital health startups smarter, stronger, and more successful through global competition. Participants are invited to compete in any of 12 digital health categories including Food + Nutrition, Genomics + Sequencing, and Wearables + Biosensors. The competition is open to any firm with annual revenue under $10 million, and winning teams receive professional services to aid their business, exposure to influencers and investors, and up to $40,000 in cash prizes.


11. MedCity INVEST Pitch Perfect

Chicago, IL

MedCity Invest is an annual conference bringing together active investors and top executives from some of the largest healthcare and pharma organizations in the US. As part of the conference, startups are encouraged to apply to the ‘Pitch Perfect Startup Contest.’ The startups selected as part of this competition get the opportunity to present their companies to active investors interested in one of the following categories: Biopharma, Diagnostics, Health IT, Health Services, and Medical Devices. The healthcare event is hosted in collaboration with Mid-America Healthcare Investors Network and takes place every year in Chicago, IL. The next startup contest will take place at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago on April 23-24, 2019.


12. MedTech Innovator

San Francisco, CA

The MedTech Innovator is a non-profit medical technology competition for early-to-mid stage medical technology, diagnostics, or digital health companies. The competition consists of several rounds through which accepted companies gain increasing amounts of exposure to industry leaders through in-person pitch sessions, online application reviews, and audience competitions at three conferences. Successful companies are given access to the Pitch, the Showcase, or the Accelerator — comprehensive programs that allow them to network with and pitch to leading medical technology firms such as Johnson&Johnson and Baxter. In 2018, MedTech gave out over $500,000 in cash prizes.


See Which 10 Healthcare Startups Secured Over $1.7 Billion in Funding

13. Pediatric Pitch Competition

Austin, TX

Impact Pediatric Health is looking for the most innovative digital health and medtech device startups that provide solutions to keep kids healthy. Supported by eight top-ranked children’s hospitals in the US, the Startup Pitch Competition represents an opportunity for upcoming startups to pitch to executives and investors. All pitching companies are given the opportunity to meet presenting pediatric hospitals one-on-one, and the top companies are awarded cash prizes.


14. PMWC 2018 Silicon Valley Most Promising Company Award

Santa Clara, CA

Hosted alongside the Annual Precision Medicine World Conference since 2010, PMWC’s ‘Most Promising Company Award’ aims to recognize and assist emerging startups in Diagnostics & Therapeutics and Health Technology. The competition gives top startups an opportunity to increase their visibility and connect with leading investors and peers in the healthcare industry. PMWC’s competition has hosted a number of reputable Venture Capital firms in the past including Third Rock Ventures, KPCB, and Google Ventures. Next year’s competition will take place on January 20-23, 2019.


15. Prime Health Challenge

Denver, CO

Started in 2014, the Prime Health Challenge drives the acceleration of digital health technologies in order to improve patient experience, improve population health, and lower costs. Sponsored by the Colorado Health Foundation, the competition spans 3 months, and participants are assessed based on their solutions’ readiness for the commercial market. Competing startups are offered feedback and mentorship from industry leaders. The competition concludes with the finalists pitching their products in front of executives for a chance to pilot their product at their institutions, as well as win a part of $150,000 in prize funding. The final round of the competition will be held on October 11, 2018.


16. PULSE@MassChallenge

Boston, MA

PULSE@MassChallenge offers a unique way of supporting digital health startups — they pair accepted companies with leading institutions and corporations to create unique digital health solutions. Every accepted startup also has access to a free office space, a community of industry experts, and a structured project management process. PULSE gives out more than $250K to successful companies in equity-free prizes. The applications for this year’s contest are due on September 12, and judging and matchmaking will take place on December 4 and 5.


RootPath Raises $7 Million Seed Funding For Cancer Immunotherapy Programs

17. SplashX Invent Health – Precision Health

Palo Alto, CA

Produced by HP and Vator, the SplashX Invent Health is a quarterly salon-style tech talk where investors, founders, and C-level executives from startups in health tech can exchange ideas. The event features Splash Talks and Splash Chats — 20 minute talks on a particular topic from experienced figures in the healthcare industry. This year’s Invent Health event focuses on Precision Health, a new frontier of personalized medicine and preventive care. SplashX Invent Health is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn how to innovate, raise money, and scale a company — as well as present their ideas in front of peers and industry leaders. The event will take place on September 27, 2018.


18. TechCrunch Startup Battlefield

San Francisco, CA & Global

Hosted by leading online technology publisher TechCrunch, the Startup Battlefield brings top startups together in San Francisco to vie for the Disrupt Cup, the attention of the media and sponsors, and a $50,000 prize. Participation is completely free, and previous competitors include notable names like Dropbox, Mint, and Yammer. Incredibly, past competitors in the Disrupt competition have raised $8 billion in funding, and a number of them have experienced business exits. The competition is a part of TechCrunch’s Disrupt SF conference, in which startups and individuals are given the opportunity to network, attend workshops, and take part in a virtual hackathon. This year’s conference will take place on September 5-7.


19. VentureWell BMEidea

Hadley, MA

VentureWell’s national BMEidea competition offers university-level biomedical entrepreneurs the opportunity to win up to $10,000 in cash prizes. Exclusive to undergraduate and graduate students, competitors are challenged to solve real clinical problems using health technology. Teams are judged on technical, economic, and regulatory feasibility, contribution to health,  technological innovation, and potential for commercial growth. The competition will take place on April 3, 2019, and winners will be announced at the MD&M Medical Device Trade Show & Convention.