How It Works
- Inspire innovation in ophthalmology by ophthalmologists
- Develop ecosystem that supports innovation in ophthalmology
- Provide knowledge and tools that help ophthalmologists transform “ideas” into solutions for ophthalmology problems that need fixing
- Connect early-stage ophthalmologist innovators with early stage investors to accelerate development of solutions to important problems
- $25,000 cash prize for first place, $15,000 cash prize for second place, and $5,000 for third place to defray development costs—no strings attached!
- Opportunity for finalists to present concept to panel of potential investors including angel, incubator, strategic partner, and venture investors
- Direct feedback on your concept and business model from innovation experts and investors—available to all applicants
- Ophthalmologist with early stage concept for how to solve a significant ophthalmology problem
- Very early stage ophthalmologist innovator interested in access to:
- Feedback and advice from early stage investors and successful innovators in ophthalmology
- Opportunity to win $25,000 first place cash prize, $15,000 second place cash prize, or $5,000 third place cash prize—no strings attached!
- Has submitted at least a provisional application for patent by the time of the Winning Pitch Challenge Round 1 deadline—to permit uninhibited public pitch (not mandatory)
- Product is generating little or no revenue
- Magnitude of problem
- Innovativeness of the proposed solution
- Market size, strategy, and potential reimbursement
- Competitive analysis
- Business model, including capital requirements
- Intellectual property
- The team
- Clarity of request for investment
- Quality and energy of the presentation
- 3 pitches (roughly 5 minutes each, presentation time may vary between shows)
- Judges and audience will grade each pitch live on a scale of 1-10
- Moderators and judges discuss pitches with contestants while average scores are calculated
- Announcement of winners and awarding of checks
- See submission form for more details
- Judges score each finalist pitch
- The audience scores each finalist pitch
- Scores are averaged to identify first, second, and third place
- The mentor program is comprised of successful entrepreneurs, investors, executives, and others who volunteer their expertise to help ophthalmologist innovators succeed. All submissions are reviewed by the session moderators and panel of judges. The semi-finalists that advance to Round 2 are matched with a mentor. Mentors provide applicants with valuable insight and advice on the concept, business model, regulatory issues, etc. Mentors also work with their mentee closely on their presentation and delivery of their pitch. The judges and audience want an engaging and energetic pitch live on the stage. Applicants submit a recording of their pitch at the Round 2 deadline, and 3 finalists are chosen to pitch live on stage.
- Round 1 submissions are due February 28 and mentors will be assigned to each applicant at that time.
- Mentor commitment is at least 1.5 hours, or three 30-minute phone calls.
- The finalist’s mentors will be recognized from the podium at the start of the session.
- New in 2023: The audience will be able to submit questions and participate in a live vote to determine the winning pitch. Mentors are allowed to vote and are encouraged to advocate for their mentee with the other attendees. Mentors will join the finalists on stage during award presentation.