Innovators’ Challenge

The Innovators’ Challenge is an event organized by VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation to raise funds for health care innovations at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH). The 2019 event raised over $450,000 to support inventive and creative solutions that are being developed to transform health care for all British Columbians. The next Innovators’ Challenge event will be in May 2021.


The Innovators’ Challenge is a partnership event between VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation and VCH Research Institute (VCHRI). Funding is contingent on best efforts fundraising.


All projects submitted for potential inclusion in the 2021 Innovators’ Challenge must be developed in connection to either VGH, UBC Hospital, GF Strong or one of VCH’s community health centres AND meet the following criteria:

  1. Potential impact - The project has extraordinary impact on or demonstrated benefits to patients or health care system. It has significant advantages to existing or potential competitors.
  2. Usability or translatability - It is feasible to implement by the health care system or easily adopted by the patient. There is no good alternative or other potential solution in the market.

Awards are open to health care professionals, clinicians and researchers.


As one of the selected finalists for the 2021 Innovators’ Challenge, you will receive:

  • Eligibility to win the Innovators’ Challenge prize and philanthropic donations to fund your project
  • One-on-one coaching to build a business case for your project and improve your pitch deck
  • Promotion of your project via VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation’s online channels
  • Two complimentary tickets to attend the 2021 Innovators’ Challenge and network with philanthropists, investors, entrepreneurs and prominent business executives from the life science, biotech and high-tech industries


To be considered for this funding opportunity, submit the following to by Monday, October 5, 2020 (*Extended to Friday, October 9, 2020):

  1. Abstract (300 word limit, to include an overview of the problem, your proposed solution and the estimated impact your health care innovation will have)
  2. Please detail how your project meets one or more of the following criteria:
    • Potential impact through (200 word limit)
      • It has extraordinary impact on or demonstrated benefits to patients or health care system
      • It provides market assessment showing existing or potential competitors
    • Usability or translatability through (200 word limit)
      • It is feasible to implement by the health care system or easily adopted by the patient. Project coordinator has engaged the stakeholders and reviewed feedback for usability.
      • There is no good alternative or other potential solution in the market. Explanation details the primary advantages of your health care innovation relative to other solutions.
  3. Briefly describe your development stage, status in the project timeline and time horizon (300 word limit)
  4. Budget request up to $75,000 (one page maximum with specific details on how funds will be used)

By entering a submission to this funding opportunity, you agree to:

  • sharing this information with VCHRI administrative staff, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation administrative staff and the Innovators’ Challenge Innovation Council.
  • participating in the Innovators’ Challenge if your project is selected; as per details below.

Successful submissions will be contacted by a member of the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation staff.

If your project is selected, the following commitments are required:

Pre-Event (January - April 2021):

  • Prepare presentation
  • Provide bio and research information for promotional material
  • Attend up to 4 Foundation meetings, ~5 hours in total

Day of Event (May 2021: exact date TBC):

  • Attend and present your work at the Innovators' Challenge event, ~5 hours in total for an in-person event

Post-Event (January - May 2022):

  • Provide an update on project progress approximately 6-12 months post event.



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