LIVESTRONG Foundation's Big C Competition Selects 5 Finalists
The LIVESTRONG Foundation's inaugural Big C competition has reached its final stage, choosing five final ventures from more than 750 entries from around the world, all of whom aim to change the way the world lives with cancer. The final five projects demonstrate a flair for creative solutions, along with business acumen to find solutions to the most common problems those affected by cancer face on a daily basis. The finalists will present their ventures to a panel of seven expert judges on Oct. 17 and the grand prize winner will be revealed at the finale event at the Austin Music Hall.
The five finalists (in alphabetical order) are:
- Adhere Tech created smart pill bottles to send patient dosage behavior that is analyzed in real-time, allowing patients to receive dosage reminders via text message. The pill bottle itself lights up and chimes to remind patients about their medication, as well. The bottles are currently in a pilot stage.
- Decisive Health's Treatment Explorer support tool matches cancer patients' lifestyle preferences with the best possible treatment option to match the two. The tool is customized for each patient and shared with healthcare providers so that individual patients can receive optimal patient-centered care.
- Restwise's app helps cancer patients and survivors understand the importance of resting and managing fatigue to rehabilitate themselves from treatment and get the most out of their exercise programs. The program began with a pilot at the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program in Boise, Idaho.
- TeVido BioDevices uses 3D printing technology to create real-life breast tissue to be used in breast reconstruction surgeries following mastectomies. The Austin-based company uses a patient's own cells to recreate the tissue.
- unCancer India is designed to give cancer patients and survivors in India navigation services that provide information on diagnoses and survivorship, emotional support and a connection to much-needed, timely resources that those patients are not currently receiving.
“We are blown away by the quality of the final five projects and know that, regardless of the outcome, all five will go on to improve the lives of the 32.5 million cancer patients and survivors worldwide,” said LIVESTRONG Foundation President and CEO Doug Ulman. “While all of the semifinalists' entries stood out, these five demonstrated an intimate knowledge of the daily challenges faced due to a diagnosis. They all demonstrate creative, realistic and trailblazing solutions for people affected by cancer.”
Each of the five entered the competition in one of five tracks that represent the biggest challenges that people affected by cancer face following a diagnosis, according to the LIVESTRONG Foundation's research: rebuilding financial health, regaining emotional wellbeing, caring for caregivers, improving access to quality care and filling the knowledge gap.
Seven expert judges from a number of disciplines including healthcare, venture capitalism, technology and the cancer community will score the pitches and choose a winner. The grand prize winner will receive $25,000 which will be announced in front of LIVESTRONG's biggest supporters, who are attending the Foundation's Ride for the Roses weekend events Oct. 17. The judges are:
- Jay Bernhardt, PhD, MPH, Professor, Founding Director of the Center for Health Communication, The University of Texas at Austin
- Cheryl Dorsey, President, Echoing Green
- Dr. Brandon Hayes-Lattin, M.D., Oregon Health and Science University
- Missy Krasner, Managing Director, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Box
- Dr. Carlos Nuñez, MD, Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, CareFusion
- Patti Rogers, Founder and CEO, Rallyhood
- Charles “Chuck” Weiser, Executive Vice President – CFO, American Green Technology
Each of the qualifying 168 semifinalists were paired with a cancer survivor mentor, while the 20 that moved on to the Martha and Kozo Shimano Entrepreneur Accelerator phase were teamed up with business mentors to turn their ideas into action. Overall, 60 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 in addition to the $25,000 grand prize winner.
About the LIVESTRONG Foundation
The LIVESTRONG Foundation fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now. Created in 1997, the Foundation is known for providing free cancer support services and advocating for policies that improve access to care and quality of life. Known for its powerful brand – LIVESTRONG – the Foundation has become a symbol of hope and inspiration around the world. Since its inception, the Foundation has served 2.8 million people affected by the disease and raised more than $580 million to support cancer survivors. One of America's top non-profit organizations, the Foundation has been recognized by industry leaders including Charity Navigator, the National Health Council and the Better Business Bureau for its excellent governance, high standards and transparency. For more information, visit LIVESTRONG.org.