We have been running massive open challenges for eight years now and know they are among the best ways to get your new idea out to market faster. Specifically, we run them in healthcare innovation, an area where it is particularly difficult to get first big customers and early funding. We run up to twenty of these per year and are running one now sponsored by our Venture Fund. Yes, we very often invest in and accelerate the winners and it works great. The deadline was Friday the 15th but when you do a crowd challenge there is always a month-long crowd-vetting period so we usually also allow rolling applications. Our application is very tough and we like people to do their best. The real disadvantage to entering late is that you have less time to gather crowd support, which is key for making it to the finals.
We designed the Crowd Challenges we have run since 2013 for the one goal (which a 2 person startup called Medable won) – helping startups succeed in healthcare. Now the world watches and pays attention to who wins because the companies that do – from Misfit wearables to Twiage to Alertgy (pictured above), winners of our contests have created billions of dollars in value. Now they employ thousands. If that alone does not convince you to fill out an application or check out the teams, here are our Top Ten reasons why!
10. Get Found: Tens of thousands, and sometimes up to 250,000 people, interested in healthcare innovation will visit the site and review the teams that apply to win MedStartr Crowd Challenges like the one going on NOW for the #WarOnCOVID Challenge. That’s like being on the main stage at HIMSS at the keynote, but five times bigger.
9. It’s Free! How much would you pay to have so many people watch your video or hear your pitch? MedStartr was designed for Startup founders by startup founders, so of course, we don’t charge you to use our system!
8. Get Funded Faster: You could raise serious money from investors – a large portion of the MedStartr Community are people and leaders of organizations that invest heavily in medical innovation. The site allows you to upload your investor decks and other materials and create a secure “Data Room” that can be the center of your fundraising activities. Also be aware that teams that do well on MedStartr, on average, raise over 1.2 million dollars over the next six months after winning a contest or getting good traction on the site.
7. Get Packaged: Most of us went to med school or grad school, not design school or business school so what do we know about marketing our idea or how to talk to the various stakeholders in healthcare? This is why the MedStartr Application is chock full of advice and suggestions and examples that help you build a great project. Packaging up your idea into audience-specific stories and putting your best foot forward is what really helps teams succeed we find and even the 53rd place team sometimes gets 9 partners and 3 customers. In a crowd challenge, everyone wins!
6. Press! Hundreds of times teams in our contests have been written about in the press or interviewed for television, blogs and radio.
5. Customers: Among the millions who will hear about the challenge there will be representatives from thousands of your potential customers who may visit your project. If you create compelling offers you may be like Fred Trotter who started 48 new large client relationships for his Startup during his campaign and now employs dozens of people with huge clients like PwC and Merck.
4. Discover your Product-Market-Fit faster: In healthcare it isn’t always obvious who your customer is or how they want to buy. By making rewards of many varieties you get to test market ideas and see how they are adopted – all at very little risk and with thousands of potential customers viewing your idea
3. Prize Money: Yes, there are 25,000 no strings attached reasons to apply in this challenge and very often more. Yes, we know the application is rigorous but it is worth it!
2. Winners Circle: If you win you will be held up to the world as the winner which will open many doors
… and last but not least…
1. Millions: If you win you will get into meetings with the Investors including MedStartr Ventures who sponsored this contest who may invest and accelerate your idea. Our investment fund, for example, invests only in the winners of these contests. See our portfolio, which includes many winners of our challenges that have grown enormously since then.
Don’t delay, apply today!