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NKU, Aviatra Announce Entrepreneur Pitch Events

A pair of pitch competitions will take place in Northern Kentucky soon.

Northern Kentucky University’s Institute for Health Innovation (IHI) is looking for aspiring entrepreneurs for its inaugural Health/Healthcare Pitch Competition, an initiative supported by the Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration’s RISE grant. 

NKU received one of 40 grants through the 2018 i6 Challenge, a national initiative designed to support the creation of centers of innovation and entrepreneurship. This was the first time funds from the i6 Challenge have been awarded in Kentucky.  

The IHI is looking for ideas or concepts related to process and policy, population health, device and treatment, or other areas of health care. Selected finalists will pitch their ideas in August for a chance to win cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $4,000.

The winning teams will also receive coaching and individualized support through NKU’s Small Business Development Center.

“The IHI was created to develop the next leaders of health innovation and address general population health issues–both regionally and nationally,” said Dr. Valerie Hardcastle, St. Elizabeth Healthcare executive director of the Institute for Health Innovation. “With the RISE grant and our support from collaborative leaders, contestants can accelerate their ideas into a successful business.”

NKU has hosted similar competitions in the past, including the Lieutenant Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge and various student business plan competitions, but this is the university’s first health innovation pitch contest.

“This pitch contest goes hand in hand with the opportunity recognition principle that we teach in The INKUBATOR,” said Zac Strobl, interim co-director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “Opportunities like these are rare. This type of event offers exposure and connections that are incredibly beneficial to entrepreneurs. The prize money will ideally be used to kick-start a new, innovative startup in the health innovation space.”

 The pitch application deadline is July 25.

For more information about the competition, visit the website.

Meanwhile, Aviatra Accelerator's LAUNCH startups will pitch their businesses with one lucky entrepreneur winning a $5,000 prize from the Stamm Scholarship Fund.

To see this year's participants, click here.

The event will also feature guest speaker and Aviatra (formerly known as Bad Girls Ventures) alumna Robin Gentry McFee, founder of Functional Formularies, a commercial line of health-promoting foods.

The event is set for Wednesday, August 14, at Carnegie Hall (401 Monmouth Street, Newport), from 5 to 9 p.m.

-Staff report