How it Works

As a start-up or college student team, you will submit a solution in one of four areas of innovation development (Early-Stage Innovation, Concept Validation, Early Commercialization, Growth Trajectory).
Submissions will be judged by pediatric healthcare providers and pediatric hospital administrators across the country and their picks will form the challenge's start-up company finalist list, as well as student team winners. The finalist start-ups will present their innovative solution to a panel of judges during a live-virtual event, and final winners will be announced during an awards ceremony. 

In addition, every start-up up applicant will receive free access for one year to The Lonely Entrepreneur Learning Community – a one stop shop for the knowledge, tools and support a current or aspiring entrepreneur needs to start or grow a business.  

Start-up Company Eligibility

  • Must notify the event sponsors in writing if you or your immediate relative or spouse is employed by the event sponsors or a participating provider, hospital, or health system staff 

Student Team Eligibility 

  • Higher education students studying in the fields of health IT, medicine or business

  • At least one team member must have coding skills

  • Student team members are only participating on one Bear PACK student team

  • Must notify the event sponsors in writing if you or your immediate relative or spouse is employed by the event sponsors or a participating provider, hospital, or health system staff 

  • Student teams may consist of up to 10 team members

  • If the student team is also an on-going commercial start-up, they must also meet the following requirements: 

    • Less than $2 million annual net revenue 

    • Pre-series B funding 

Innovative Solution Requirements

  • Must have a pediatric focus


  • Pediatric digital health technology delivering one or more of the following: 

    • Improve health outcomes 

    • Improve patient / family experience

    • Improve clinician experience

    • Reduce total cost of care 

Content Submission Requirements

  • Submit a video less than 5 minutes in length detailing your company's innovative solution

*Your video submission can be filmed on a phone, iPad, computer, etc. Video quality will not affect our judging process. 

  • Submit a presentation deck with 12 or less slides

  • If selected as a finalist, present in front of a panel of judges during a live-virtual event (start-ups only)

  • The submission (a) must be the start-ups or student team's original work, (b) solely owned by the same, and (c) not violate any intellectual property rights or privacy rights of any third party

  • The submission must not contain (as determined by the event sponsors in their sole discretion) any content that is inappropriate

  • Submissions may not contain any source code or software applications.

  • Submissions may not contain any personally identifiable information (PII) or protected health information (PHI).

Prize Information

  • Bear Institute software developer(s) supporting SMART on FHIR enablement of the winning start-ups’ solution

  • On-site pilot of the winning solution at Children’s National​, which may include deployment support


  • Marketing of the winner’s solution by event sponsors, which may include reference activity or collaboration projects based upon the success of the pilot

  • Press release announcing winning submissions and subsequent announcements of pilots or other collaboration with event sponsors


  • Additional software development support for potential API integration to a solution within the Cerner product portfolio


  • Collaboration opportunities with leading researchers and nationally recognized clinicians for any desired refining or enhancing of a winning solution 


  • Prize monies allotted within each innovation development track (last year's prize money totaling over $100K)

Student Team Prize Information

  • Prize monies (last year's prize money totaling $15K)