Future Looks Bright at 2022 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge

Judges awarded $38,500 in prizes to student teams at the 2022 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge at the University of Washington.Students impressed judges with risk-managing innovations at the 7th annual Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge (HIC) hosted by the UW Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. Team inSTENT Connection won the $15,000 WRF Capital Grand Prize for its medical device idea that lowers the chance of complications and mortality for patients needing surgery in their gastrointestinal tract.

Team inSTENT Connection won the $15,000 WRF Capital Grand Prize at the 2022 Hollomon Health Innovation ChallengeThe team of biochemistry, mechanical, and chemical engineering students from the University of Washington is developing a new kind of stent they hope will be able to help hospitals and surgical clinics soon. 

Many of the innovations showcased by the 21 finalist teams at this year’s event looked to impact the health ecosystem by solving problems with new kinds of medical devices. Judges awarded the $10,000 Herbert B. Jones Foundation Second Place Prize to CathConnect for its novel breakaway catheter mechanism that improves upon a commonly used tool. The team of mechanical engineering students from UW hopes to reduce trauma risk for patients being treated for urinary retention.  

Congratulations to team CathConnect from the University of Washington on winning the $10,000 Herbert B. Jones Foundation Second Place Prize + $2,500 Best Idea for a Medical Device at the 2022 Hollomon Health Innovation ChallengeTeam CathConnect also took home the $2,500 Jim & Timmie Hollomon Best Idea for a Medical Device Prize which recognizes a medical device concept or product with the most promising opportunity to significantly improve the lives of patients or providers. 

Congratulations to team EquinOx from the University of Washington on winning the $5,000 Fenwick & West Third Place Prize + the $2,500 Best Idea for Addressing Health Access Prize at the 2022 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge!The $5,000 Fenwick & West Third Place Prize went to team EquinOx for its pulse oximeter sensor that corrects skin-tone inaccuracies in real-time. The team of mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering students from UW also won the $2,500 Best Idea for Addressing Health Access and Disparities Prize. Team EquinOx seeks to make healthcare more equitable and ethical by solving the oximeter problem affecting patients with darker skin tones that statistically leads to a greater number of medical mistakes. 

A total of $38,500 in prizes went to student teams who pitched and created tradeshow-style booths for judges representing the health, biotech, investor, and entrepreneurial communities across the Pacific Northwest.

Congratulations to team Trialable from the University of British Columbia on winning the $2,500 Kent & Lisa Sacia Best Idea in Digital Health Prize at the 2022 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge!Judges selected team Trialable for the $2,500 Kent & Lisa Sacia Best Idea in Digital Health Prize which recognizes an innovative digital health application that has a high likelihood of being implemented in practical healthcare situations. The University of British Columbia team of Neuroscience students is developing a quick, accessible, and privacy-compliant software system that helps clinicians identify candidates for clinical trials. 

HIC finalist teams (and alternates) represented regional colleges and universities from across the Pacific Northwest, including UW Seattle, UW Bothell, Washington State University, and the University of British Columbia. All teams who participated in the HIC (including those in the Screening Round) received detailed feedback from judges on how to move their innovations forward.  

Congratulations to team Ultropia from the University of Washington on winning the $1,000 Connie Bourassa-Shaw Spark Prize at the 2022 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge!Judges also recognized one final team with a special prize named for an iconic former Buerk Center director. The $1,000 Connie Bourassa-Shaw Spark Award was given to team Ultropia. It recognizes teams that, in the eyes of the judges, just missed out on the top awards. Team Ultropia consists of UW graduate students in the electrical and computer engineering program as well as the Foster School’s Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. Ultropia is developing a low cost and low energy cleaning technology for hospital bedding and linens in low resource settings. 

Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge teams, including those that didn’t win prizes, often take the valuable feedback from the competition to compete in the upcoming Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge (March 31) and the multi-stage Dempsey Startup Competition (April/May) student competitions.  

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Dempsey Startup Competition, formerly known as the UW Business Plan Competition, and the 30th anniversary of the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship within the Foster School. You can find the 2022 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge press release and other stories from the Buerk Center right now on the Foster blog.