National Institute on Aging Launches Startup Challenge

31 Mar

By Candice He, Vice President of Business Development, Global Investment Strategist, LSN

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Life Science Nation is pleased to share an exciting opportunity for the longevity and age-tech startup community: The National Institute on Aging is hosting a startup challenge, The Healthy Aging Start-Up Challenge and Bootcamp to Foster Diversity and Accelerate Innovation, and applications are open! Apply by May 23 to win a cash prize, one-on-one mentoring, and access to an entrepreneur bootcamp!

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About the Challenge

The Healthy Aging Start-Up Challenge and Bootcamp to Foster Diversity and Accelerate Innovation invites applications from diverse researchers and entrepreneurs with a demonstrated need for entrepreneurial resources. Applicants should have innovative ideas for science-driven technologies and products that aim to promote healthy aging or address aging-related diseases or conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. There is special interest in participants and ideas that have the potential to increase the diversity of NIA-funded small business research and development. NIA strongly encourages applications from researchers and entrepreneurs from groups underrepresented in the U.S. biomedical sciences and in life science entrepreneurship.

Up to 20 finalists will be selected to participate in a 4-month entrepreneurial bootcamp designed to provide resources to help overcome barriers to launching a start-up and obtaining funding. The bootcamp will include entrepreneur workshops, mentorship, networking opportunities, and grant application skill building. Participation will be mostly virtual and will require finalists to commit approx. 4-6 hours per week plus one 3-to 4-day in-person networking event scheduled for September 19-22, 2022 in Boston (travel expenses paid by NIA). At the conclusion of the bootcamp, finalists will pitch to be selected as one of up to five winners to each receive a $60,000 cash prize

Applicants are encouraged to attend the Pre-Application Webinar scheduled for April 20, 2022, at 2 PM ET to learn more about the Challenge.

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Calling for Mentors

Mentorship is a critical component of this program. As participants will be learning to refine their idea, develop a pitch deck, identify markets and investors, and launch a new life science venture, the NIA is seeking volunteer mentors with an interest in diversity who are passionate about sharing their expertise in areas like entrepreneurship, investing, product development, digital health, and/or science and technology related to aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Mentoring relationships with individuals of shared backgrounds and experiences are especially beneficial to mentee success, so the NIA is especially excited to recruit mentors with unique or underrepresented backgrounds. Please share the link below for mentors with anyone who you feel may be a good fit.

Mentor applications are due May 2, so apply today!

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