Challenge Statement

This Sponsored Innovation Challenge is a business idea competition seeking solutions to problems that Atrium Health deeply cares about as the sponsoring institution. The Challenge seeks the submission of scalable and investable solutions to problems that lead to or create significant healthcare outcome disparities.

In alignment with Atrium Health’s Impact 2025 Strategic Priorities, successful applications by early-stage founders will focus on entrepreneurial solutions to leading indicators of Health Equity and Health Disparities as opposed to systemic lagging indicators.

The Challenge invites applications for social and technological innovations that can be applied and commercialized with demonstrated potential for social and economic impact on the following leading indicator priorities and Drivers of Health (DOH):

  • Access: Improve access for colorectal screening, A1c control, and blood pressure, behavioral health, and reduce readmissions
  • Quality and Outcomes: Eliminate disparities in mortality rates, mental health, and maternal and child health
  • Acute Social Needs: Support systems, community engagement, structural discrimination, and access to renewable energy/energy security
  • Social Drivers of Health: Economic stability and upward mobility; food security and access to healthy foods; access to affordable housing and commercial districts; affordable transportation; affordable child care, education access, and quality; climate change, air and water pollution, heat mitigation, and landfill diversion

The targeted population is vulnerable communities specifically, African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, and those at 200% of Federal Poverty.

Challenge Timeline


Submissions Accepted

December 1, 2023 (9:00am EDT)

March 31, 2024 (11:59pm EDT)


10 Finalists

April 19, 2024

Challenge submissions narrowed to 10 finalists


10 Finalists

April 22, 2024

A deeper dive into the Challenge problem statement


10 Finalists

May 18, 2024

Cabarrus Center
57 Union St. S., Concord, NC


Up to 5 Winners


  • $5,000 Starter Grant
  • An invitation to enter a 12-week accelerator program followed by 18 months of incubation at the Cabarrus Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Neal Shah has experienced firsthand the stormy world of caring for family members with health crises. He couldn’t stop thinking that there must be a better way to help people with home care. Much of the home care he found was expensive, inconvenient, and of uneven quality. It was difficult to find quality help for services such as companionship, cooking meals, and doing light housework. “Not to offend anyone,” Shah says, “but the home care industry is really broken.” So the former Wa…
Winners of the inaugural Health Equity Innovation Challenge are halfway through their accelerator and recently spent the day in Concord, NC at the Cabarrus Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship participating in a rapid-fire pitch round robin. The Challenge, sponsored by Atrium Health and administered by the Flywheel Foundation, is a business idea competition for scalable and investable solutions to problems that lead to or create significant healthcare outcome disparities. [caption…
The Flywheel Foundation announced today the launch of a Health Equity Innovation Challenge made possible by Atrium Health serving as the title sponsor.
Over the past two years, the world has experienced unimaginable challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with health care organizations continually on the front lines of battle. Organizations that survived did so at both clinical and financial costs.
The evolution of Healthy People reflects growing awareness of health inequities over the life course. Each decade, the initiative has gained understanding of how the nation can achieve health and well-being. To inform Healthy People 2030’s visionary goal of achieving health equity in the coming decade, the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030 (Secretary’s Advisory Committee) provided the US Department of Health and Human Servic…
What Is Health Equity and Why Is It Important? Health equity can be defined as the attainment of the highest level of health for all people. This means that all people have the opportunity to attain their full health potential and are not disadvantaged due to their social position or other socioeconomic circumstance. Health inequities, on the other hand, are unfair and avoidable differences in health status that result from unjust policies, discriminatory social norms that exclude certain gr…

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