$20,500 awarded to inaugural HIC winners

HIC panorama

Teams and judges gather in Anthony’s Forum in Dempsey Hall during the inaugural Health Innovation Challenge.

The long-awaited Health Innovation Challenge has finally hit the University of Washington campus!

Launched on March 3, 2016, the Health Innovation Challenge plays off of the best aspects of the University of Washington and Seattle entrepreneurial communities. Eighteen teams tackled some of the most important issues arising in the fast-growing health and healthcare space, pitching those ideas to more than 90 judges in this tradeshow-style event.

Hosted by the Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, this event is modeled after the Buerk Center’s other two innovation competitions, the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge and the UW Business Plan Competition.

Sponsors included the Hollomon Family, Herbert B. Jones Foundation, UW CoMotion, Devindra and Manisha Chainani, UW Foster School of Business, UW College of Engineering, Fenwick & West, Providence Health and Services, Carena, K&L Gates, Perkins Coie, and Stratos.

The HIC is provided by the UW Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship in partnership with UW College of Engineering, UW Medicine, UW Bioengineering, and UW Department of Global Health.

After a fast-paced day of incredible pitches and interdisciplinary teams producing amazing technology, it’s time to announce the winners of the inaugural event. Congratulations to the winners of the first-ever HIC!


$10,000 Grand Prize, sponsored by the Hollomon Family

engage-logo (2)Emily Willard, Washington State University Bioengineering, undergraduate
Katherine Brandenstein, Washington State University Bioengineering, undergraduate

Engage works to improve medical technology in developing countries with scarce resources, initially focusing on reducing the spread of blood-borne pathogens as a result of contaminated injections.


$5,000 Second Place Prize, sponsored by the Herbert B. Jones Foundation

logo purpleAlex Jiao, PhD candidate, UW Bioengineering
Jenna Strully, MD and MBA, UW Foster School of Business
Ned Whalen, undergraduate, UW Foster School of Business
Rob Thomas, MBA, UW Foster School of Business
Aakash Sur, PhD, UW Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education
Winnie Leung, master’s candidate, UW Bioengineering

miPS Labs allows you to preserve your youngest cells today to repair and regenerate your body tomorrow.


$2,500 Third Place Prize, sponsored by UW’s CoMotion


Brian Mogen, PhD candidate, UW Bioengineering
Tyler Libey, PhD candidate, UW Bioengineering
Dimi Gklezakos, PhD candidate, UW Computer Science and Engineering

MultiModal Health uses advanced data science and engaging software to quantify rehab, extending advanced treatment from the clinic to the home.


In addition to the three prize winners, several runner-up $1000 “Judges Also Really Liked” awards were given out. Congratulations to the following teams!




Zachary Chen, undergraduate, UW Mechanical Engineering
Ha Seung Chung, undergraduate, UW Mechanical Engineering
Jazmine Saito, undergraduate, UW Mechanical Engineering
Wealth Salvador, undergraduate, UW Mechanical Engineering
Shawn Swanson, master’s degree candidate, UW Materials Science and Engineering

Our company’s goal is to provide easy-to-use epinephrine auto-injectors to treat anaphylaxis in economically impoverished countries to effectively address the orphan need.




Le Zhen, PhD candidate, UW Chemical Engineering
Nicholas Zhen Hung, undergraduate, UW Chemical Engineering
Isaac Lam, undergraduate, UW Chemical Engineering
Jason Dang, undergraduate, UW Chemical Engineering
Melissa Gile, undergraduate, UW Chemical Engineering
Ellyce Shulman, MBA candidate, UW Foster School of Business
Anna Nordstrom, MBA candidate, UW Foster School of Business

6ixS Vascular Solutions utilizes a breakthrough material to make lifesaving, long-lasting, off-the-shelf and low-cost synthetic blood vessel replacements that simultaneously provide solutions to narrowing, clotting and infection by optimizing healing.


NGMNovel Gram + Therapeutics

Ryan Delacruz, doctoral candidate, UW Pharmacy
Omeed Faghih, BS, UW Biochemistry and Neurobiology
Colin Johnston, MBA candidate, UW Foster School of Business
Christopher Joyce, MBA candidate, UW Foster School of Business & master’s degree candidate, Pharmaceutical Engineering

Dr. Fred Buckner and Dr. Erkang Fan’s labs have discovered novel antibiotic compounds that have great bioavailability and potency against MRSA, VRE and other drug-resistant Gram-positive bacterial strains, have shown no observed toxicity in mice tests, and can be administered via IV or oral pill.


Read more about the Health Innovation Challenge here and here.

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