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Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


News: Launch of Brain Start-up Challenge on August 1st

brain_innovationDear Sharp­Brains com­mu­ni­ty,

We have read Alvaro Fer­nan­dez’s pub­li­ca­tion regard­ing the BRAIN Ini­tia­tive in Ven­ture Beat and thought our first-of-a-kind Brain Start-up Chal­lenge would be of inter­est to many of you.

To pro­vide some back­ground, the Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health, Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, Cen­ter for Advanc­ing Inno­va­tion and the Her­itage Provider Net­work, have part­nered to cre­ate a “first of a kind” Brain Chal­lenge. The Chal­lenge will fea­ture 20 rig­or­ous­ly select­ed brain relat­ed inven­tions that have com­mer­cial via­bil­i­ty and are impor­tant to pub­lic health. The pri­ma­ry goal of the Chal­lenge is to stim­u­late the cre­ation of start-up busi­ness­es based upon these inven­tions. The last chal­lenge we launched exceed­ed expec­ta­tions and received men­tions from the White House, an exclu­sive from Nature Mag­a­zine and sev­er­al lead­ing media out­lets. The White House is fol­low­ing the Brain Chal­lenge very close­ly and we expect more than 1,000 peo­ple from around the world to par­tic­i­pate.

A bit on the chal­lenge: teams with the min­i­mum of two grad­u­ate stu­dents and an entre­pre­neur may enter the chal­lenge, teams must have both busi­ness and med­ical exper­tise. A team may enter start­ing August 1st by select­ing one of the inven­tions and pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion about their team. There are three phas­es: ele­va­tor speech, busi­ness plan and start-up. The oppor­tu­ni­ty for par­tic­i­pants is prize mon­ey, launch­ing a start-up and rais­ing funds of up to $1 mil­lion.

To give you also some back­ground about how the inven­tions were select­ed: our team ana­lyzed 18,000 patents to find the inven­tions that were ulti­mate­ly select­ed. Our due dili­gence mod­el uses over 135 vari­ables to rig­or­ous­ly assess mar­ket attrac­tive­ness, oper­a­tional fea­si­bil­i­ty, medical/scientific via­bil­i­ty, etc. which led us to short-list the inven­tions select­ed. The NIH tech­nol­o­gy trans­fer spe­cial­ists and office of tech­nol­o­gy trans­fer also made sure the inven­tions were in the clear.

As men­tioned, the Brain Start-up Chal­lenge is now the sec­ond one that we’ve launched; the first one was the Breast Can­cer Start-up Chal­lenge. The Breast Can­cer Start-up Chal­lenge exceed­ed expec­ta­tions and is the largest in the world of its type in the first year run­ning. Our team received the HHS Inno­vates Sec­re­tary’s Pick award after 7 rounds of judg­ing for the Breast Can­cer Start-up Chal­lenge.

–> We’re launch­ing the chal­lenge offi­cial­ly on August 1st and will start accept­ing entries. You can learn more about the Brain Start-up Chal­lenge HERE.


Rose­marie Tru­man
Founder and CEO, The Cen­ter for Advanc­ing Inno­va­tion

Relat­ed resources:

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As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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