In a century filled with modern innovations and solutions for all kinds of health-related issues, more than 16,000 mobile health care apps have emerged that are oriented toward patients and consumers. However, less than four percent are geared toward cancer, the leading cause of death worldwide.
Today, the LIVESTRONG Foundation is launching The Big C competition, our first global social innovation challenge to further advance our commitment not only to improve the lives of the 32.5 million people living with cancer around the world, but also the family, friends and caregivers of those facing the disease. With The Big C, we are aiming to change the way the world lives with cancer by collaborating with social innovators and entrepreneurs to create financially-sustainable enterprises that improve the lives of people affected by cancer, now. And though there have been other competitions on the topic in the past, they have focused largely on cancer treatment and prevention. This competition is open to all forms of innovations: programs, services, technology and products.
The Big C is open to entrepreneurs, trailblazers, technology whizzes, oncology professionals and game changers – or anyone with an audacious product, tool, app or other innovation. Our only requirement is that it helps people facing cancer today – people like Sarah, who thought that becoming a mom would no longer be possible after her cancer diagnosis, or Leon who needed more information, guidance and support to beat the disease on his terms.
Teams and individuals who enter will compete for funding, expert mentoring and global exposure to a community of potential customers and investors. Sixty ventures will receive a total of $140,000 in seed funding, based on their innovation’s utility, ingenuity and benefits to cancer patients and survivors. The grand prize winner will receive $25,000.
To enter, participants can submit innovations to the following competition tracks:
- Rebuilding Financial Health – A Cancer Diagnosis Shouldn’t Equal Financial Catastrophe
- Regaining Emotional Well-Being – Finding a Sense of Security After Cancer
- Caring for Caregivers – Families, Friends and Caregivers Are Fighting Cancer Too
- Improving Access to Quality Care – Helping Cancer Patients Get the Care They Need
- Filling the Knowledge Gap – Empowering Patients’ Informed Decisions Through Education
- Open – Any innovation outside of the prescribed tracks that helps people affected by cancer
We’re accepting entries from now until May, when judging will begin. Of the top 150 entries, 20 will move on to the venture accelerator phase from July 14-Sept. 15, where entrants will be paired with cancer survivors and business mentors to turn their ideas into action. On Sept. 29, five finalists will be announced. The weekend of Oct. 18-19, they will travel to Austin, Texas, to present their innovations during the Team LIVESTRONG Challenge Austin, where the grand prize winner will be selected.
We are excited to see applications transform into tangible products, tools and innovations that change the way people live with “The Big C”. We hope you’ll consider participating and share this news with all the big thinkers you know.