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over 4 years ago

Announcing our final sponsor contest: Novartis

We are excited to announce Novartis as our newest and final sponsor.  This gives you a chance to help empower heart failure patients and save lives! Plus, the prizes are incredible.

Heart failure is a chronic debilitating and potentially life-threatening disease affecting 26 million people worldwide. It is one of the most difficult and chronic heart diseases to manage and the biggest cause of hospital admissions in adults aged over 65 in the Western world (Source: Heart Failure). As a result, treatment costs, including hospitalizations, are estimated at $108 billion a year worldwide. About 25% of patients die within a year of diagnosis and 50% within five years (Source: CDC and WHO).

What we’re looking for is a digital solution to help better monitor, manage and even predict worsening symptoms of heart failure. After a patient is diagnosed with heart failure, there are very few resources available to easily and unobtrusively monitor their heart health over time. Adherence to therapy and lack of health interventions are major reasons why patients’ health often deteriorates rapidly after a diagnosis. This solution should therefore drastically reduce the number of hospital readmissions and deaths following an initial diagnosis.

Our Challenge to You

Help us reimagine medicine by using your creativity and tech skills to develop a tool that easily captures important cardiovascular vitals and monitors symptom progression, empowering patients to detect potential problems earlier and seek treatment sooner. We’re looking for accessible, affordable, and easy to use technologies that can seamlessly integrate into the life of a patient who has recently been diagnosed with heart failure. Use of personal digital devices (smartphones, smart watches, etc.), telemedicine, and innovative patient engagement are encouraged.

What we are not looking for is a diagnostic device that (a) is not a standard consumer device (e.g. a non-commercial wearable) and (b) increases the burden and involvement of a patient in monitoring their disease.

What to Submit?

  • An Elevator Pitch (50 words or less)*
  • An Awesome Pitch Deck (Max 10 Slides)*. Consider including the following:
    • Vision and Value Proposition
    • Problem Being Solved
    • Description of Solution
    • The Product (Description of the Technology)
    • Business Model
    • Traction to Date and Roadmap to Scale
    • The Team
    • How Will Winning the Novartis TechCrunch Hackathon Help You?
  • Link to your Website (optional)
  • Additional information (optional)
    • Demo of Product
    • Logo and other marketing materials

Things to Think About:

  •         Passive data collection
  •         Ease of use; noninvasive
  •         Software/tool that integrates with diffusive devices
  •         Measuring health status and change-over-time, specifically health deterioration
  •         Capturing shortness of breath (dyspnea) and respiratory rate
  •         Capturing body fluid retention (edema)
  •         Capturing physical activity, changes in energy and fatigue
  •         Capturing heart vitals (bpm, arrhythmia, EKG)
  •         Affordable for the general population
  •         Not a diagnostic tool


  • First Place: $15,000. Second Place: $8,000. Third Place: $3,500. Fourth Place $2,500. Fifth Place: $1,000
  • All five finalists will receive passes to TechCrunch and up-to $500 of travel reimbursement
  • First Prize includes access includes a validation study (where appropriate), dedicated Novartis mentors, access to Novartis data lakes, free space and use of fabrication equipment, frequent encounters with industry leaders and investors through events, office hours, and networking opportunities.