Prizes Awarded at 2021 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge

Judges awarded $41,000 in prizes at the 2021 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge (HIC) hosted by the UW Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship.Student teams at the 6th annual Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge (HIC) set a new standard for virtual competitions in 2021. Judges awarded $41,000 in prizes after seamlessly experiencing a combination of live pitches, prototype demo videos, and student-created team rooms at the event hosted by the UW Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship.

Sound Sustainability received the $15,000 WRF Capital Grand Prize for its approach to improving access for hearing impaired or challenged individuals through the creation of high-quality, yet affordable hearing aids.

Judges awarded $41,000 in prizes at the 2021 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge (HIC) hosted by the UW Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship.

Sound Sustainability was awarded the $15,000 WRF Capital Grand Prize

The startup’s founder, a current student in the Foster School’s Master of Science in Entrepreneurship program, is a hearing-impaired Army veteran. Coincidentally, the day of this year’s competition, March 3, also happened to be World Hearing Day. This marks the second year in a row that a team from the MS in Entrepreneurship program took home the top prize (ApnoMed in 2020) at the HIC.

Judges awarded $41,000 in prizes at the 2021 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge (HIC) hosted by the UW Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship.

Nascent Diagnostics won the $10,000 Herbert B. Jones Foundation Second Place Prize

Judges awarded the $10,000 Herbert B. Jones Foundation Second Place Prize to Nascent Diagnostics. The team of University of Washington materials science and engineering students is developing a biosensor array that aims to improve the diagnosis and monitoring of various diseases through non-invasive and cost-effective means.

The $5,000 Fenwick & West Third Place Prize went to Under Pressure. The team of UW chemical, electrical, and mechanical engineering students is developing a non-invasive blood pressure monitor for the operating room.

Judges awarded $41,000 in prizes at the 2021 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge (HIC) hosted by the UW Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship.

Under Pressure won the $5,000 Fenwick & West Third Place Prize

This year’s competition also featured four “Best Idea” prizes for the 21 finalist teams to compete for—including two brand new prizes created to address critical issues that have recently come under the spotlight. The first of these new prizes, the $2,500 Jim & Timmie Hollomon Best Idea for Pandemic Preparedness, was awarded to Mask Seal Testing. The team of UW mechanical engineering and electrical and computer engineering students created an accurate test that uses thermal imaging to check for leaks in masks worn by healthcare workers.

The second new prize is the $2,500 Cambia Grove Best Idea for Addressing Health Access and Disparities Prize. Judges awarded OsmoProcessor, a team of UW bioengineering, mechanical engineering, and business students, the prize for its approach to improving the accuracy of a diagnostic device that is commonly used in low-resource settings to detect pathogens or biomarkers.

The $2,500 Kent & Lisa Sacia Best Idea in Digital Health Prize went to Community Collaboratory. The team of UW nursing and biology students is developing a website and mobile app combination that allows adults with physical disabilities to offer and receive safe and flexible social support.

Judges awarded the $2,500 Herbert B. Jones Foundation Best Idea for a Medical Device to EVBreathe. The team of UW mechanical and electrical engineering students developed a novel device that automatically deploys and navigates the airway for a patient.

Finally, the newly named $1,000 Connie Bourassa-Shaw Spark Award was awarded to Direct Dose. The team of UW neurological surgery and mechanical engineering students designed an implantable device that could potentially reduce opioid use while also improving pain management following spine surgery. The Spark Award was formerly known as the “Judges Also Really Liked” (JARL) prize and recognizes teams that, in the eyes of the judges, just missed out on the top awards. It was renamed at the 2020 HIC in honor of the long-time former director (now retired) of the Buerk Center.

The 2021 awards were revealed to teams and judges in a special video presentation on the Buerk Center’s YouTube page following the event. Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge finalist teams (and the two alternates) represented regional colleges and universities from across the Pacific Northwest, including Washington and British Columbia. Students on the award-winning teams Mask Seal Testing and Under Pressure are also representing the Engineering Innovation in Health program at UW.

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. HIC teams are also eligible to compete in the upcoming Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge (April 1) and the multi-stage Dempsey Startup Competition which begins in early mid-April.

You can find this press release and other stories from Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship right now on the Foster blog.


  • fraserliscumb

    In 1995 16 student/unemploed one non profit, various Ottawa inventors/ small business operators came together to apply innovation and colalboration to address the issue that came ut of the 1989 economic down turn the experts had the system toss millions of dallar atand when shown what was proposed th answer was the same from 1995 to 2010. We do not support innovation ass it does not match our formal training. So used the founders Sand Box approach and open source approach when every the system formal training got in the way of making adifference. By 2002 they where a 50 partner community super cluster openong doors use innovation and collaboration. By 2004 the founders 10yr term was up. As a Sand Boc handed a Glicience to take the ledger technology to cloud when the partners where had amore advanced technlogy and talent to make it happen which happen in 2007. by 2010 the formally trained had not only lost the support of most of the partners but had tried to apply their formal training and they where handed a non working copy so they could not sell and released it as an open source. The mandate of the group was to see if they could change not what he sytem and fromally trained do but how they do it for amore sutainable future for all and not just a privilged few. The partners reached them mandate. by 2007 the day they release what the world calls Blockchain technology and all the tools to support the legislation changes by the ON government of Canada that open the door for crowd funding, community incubator and accelirator introduced in 2002 to the system which said they did not support that type of innovation, but did after 2006 downturn. as they had no choice. which shows after COVID-19 there well be a new world based on sustainablity not because the system what it but the young have the technology and well repeat history. Only this time it well be based on what in everyone best interest for a sustainable future. ell require innovation and 21st century collaboration or no one as a very sustainable future is you understand the problmes money caused but can not fix on its own will require 21st sustainable thinking on a Global scale. Now we get their will be up to those smart enough to understand money and power always lose when they are not welling to change in the best interet of all the community. going to be an interesting decade. but then iam retired and seen as a financial liablity. So enjoy watching the vison of the young and the fools that think they can stop change.