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Announcing the HBA’s Pitch Competition for Women Innovators

At the HBA, we are committed to supporting and advancing women in the business of healthcare. We aim to shine a light on the significant funding gap that women entrepreneurs face in our industry. Only 3% of venture capital funding goes to female founders, with an even smaller percentage going to startups led by women of color. This disparity stifles innovation and progress in our industry—this needs to change! 

Together, we can drive the future of healthcare forward. Join us for our 1st Pitch Competition for Women Innovators during the HBA Annual Conference. Our goal is to spotlight and support women-led, health-focused startups, providing them with access to capital, resources, and the support necessary to grow their companies. 

Promising startups in the healthcare or life sciences sector with at least 51% female ownership are encouraged to apply. We welcome submissions from diverse backgrounds and experiences. 

Apply now and take your innovation to the next level! The application process is quick and easy. Learn more below. 

The deadline to submit is 21 July. 

Prize Money: Awarded to the winning pitches! 

Elite Judges: Present your innovation to an esteemed panel of judges, including venture capitalists, private equity firms, and senior decision-makers from global healthcare and life sciences companies. 

Networking Opportunities: Connect with key industry players, potential investors, and fellow innovators. Gain invaluable exposure and recognition for your startup on an international stage. 

Demonstrate your commitment to ending the funding inequities faced by women-led startups in the healthcare and life sciences industry. We are seeking sponsors and partners to maximize impact and empower innovators with a game-changing platform to showcase their groundbreaking ideas and solutions. 

Don't miss your chance to be part of an event that is changing the landscape for women entrepreneurs in healthcare. Email to receive more information about sponsor and partnership opportunities. 

Learn More About the Pitch Competition

To be eligible to apply for the pitch competition, applicants must meet the following criteria

  • Must be a private legal entity and a high-potential health science company. 
  • Must be focused on developing innovative products or services related to advancement of health equity and outcomes, including but not limited to medical devices, diagnostics, digital health, health IT, and therapeutics 
  • Must have a minimum of 51% women-identified ownership 
  • Must have at least one (1) woman-identifying person on the executive or founding team 
  • Must have at least one (1) paid full-time employee 
  • Must have raised at least $1M USD in capital

Following are the prizes and other opportunities: 

  • Prizes for first and second place winners in each category (Early-Stage and Later-Stage), as well as audience choice awards 
  • Potential opportunity for an equity investment, pending due diligence 
  • The event will host numerous investors and feature a dedicated innovation lounge, in addition to publicity and promotion, providing finalists with further opportunities to attract interest and funding. 

Following are details guiding the submission process

  • There is no application fee
  • Application Deadline: 21 July 2024 
  • Applicant Notification: Applicants will be notified by early August. 
  • Applicants are required to pay application fee prior to submitting application, after which they will receive an email containing the link to the application.  
  • Selected companies are responsible for travel and accommodations.
  • We are thrilled to offer one (1) complimentary day pass to the HBA Annual Conference on Wednesday, 25 September for companies selected to pitch. This pass grants access to relevant conference sessions and activities leading up to the pitch competition.
  • Day passes are also available for purchase by guests and attendees with interest in attending the pitch competition.

Applicants will be asked to provide the information below: 

Executive Summary 

  • Describe how your innovation specifically addresses health and/or contributes to the advancement of health equity and access to care. (max 250 words) 


  • Provide a non-confidential Pitch Deck 
  • Provide a 2-minute video with an overview of your company. (optional) 


  • Primary Contact Name (first, last) 
  • Primary Contact Title 
  • Primary Contact Email 
  • Primary Contact Phone 
  • Primary Contact Address (city, country) 


  • Company Name 
  • Date of Incorporation 
  • Company Phone 
  • Company Address  
  • Website 
  • # of Full-Time Employees 
  • Company Stage 
  • Ideation/Discovery 
  • Preclinical 
  • Clinical Research & Development 
  • Proof of Concept 
  • Minimal Viable Product 
  • Revenue Generating 
  • Post-Approval and Launch 
  • Other 
  • Describe key milestones your company has achieved in last 6 months, including financial, fundraising, key hires, and commercialization. (max 250 words) 


  • Does your company have a minimum of 51% women identified ownership and/or does your company have a minimum of 51% women on the senior management/executive team? If yes, please list their names, email addresses, and their roles in the company
  • LinkedIn Profile 
  • Number of Key Co-founders (in addition to primary contact) 
  • Upload list with names and contact information of owners. 
  • Does your company have 1 or more woman-identifying people on the executive or founding team? 
  • Does your company have any affiliations with other accelerators/incubators? If yes, please list your associations? 
  • Does your company have advisors? If yes, please list names, titles, and affiliations for advisors on your advisory board. 


  • Describe the problem, unmet need or a challenge that your company is solving with respect to health and/or access to care. 
  • Is there a defined market for your innovation?  
  • Provide sizing and market potential. 
  • Provide a brief overview of your innovation. (max 250 words) 
  • Describe the competitive landscape and comparable companies, including current standard of care. 
  • Highlight the key differentiators of your innovation. 
  • Describe any barriers to entry for your innovation. 
  • Describe the benefits and values that your innovation brings to your target customers, including improved outcomes, cost-effectiveness, or other advantages. 
  • Do you have a working prototype?  
  • How do you plan to protect your IP or proprietary information? 
  • Provide a timeline of development milestones you will achieve with additional funding. 


  • How much capital funding have you raised? 
  • $1M - $5M USD 
  • More than $5M USD 
  • Have you generated revenue? If yes, list the ARR or MRR. 
  • How much revenue do you expect to generate within the next 3 to 5 years? 
  • Have you raised any dilutive money? If yes, include the amount raised and the investors. 
  • Have you received grant funding? If yes, list how much and the funding agencies. 

Prescreening criterion 

If the answer to either of the following questions is NO, the application does not qualify for program eligibility and does not move forward for review. 

  • Is the company a private legal entity and a health science company? 
  • Is the company focused on developing innovative products or services related to advancement of health equity and outcomes, including but not limited to medical devices, diagnostics, digital health, health IT and therapeutics. 
  • Does the company have a minimum of 51% women-identified ownership? 
  • Does the company have at least 1 paid FTE? 

Following is a brief overview of the review process: 

  • Each application is evaluated independently by at least two review members, using an evaluation rubric as the basis for assessment. 
  • Following the individual review, a group deliberation will take place to select a final cohort of companies. 
  • In the evaluation process for prospective program participants, our rubric centers on four core components: 1) Team, 2) Technology, 3) Market/Business Opportunity, and 4) Alignment with Advancing Health Equity and Outcomes. 

Why Attend? 

  • The pitch challenge showcases advancements and innovations from around the world, which provides a diverse range of investment opportunities. 
  • Gain direct access to innovators and diverse investment opportunities with participants ranging from early to later-stage companies. Investors can discover a wide array of investment options that align with different risk profiles and investment strategies and can engage directly with founders and CEOs of these companies.  
  • Networking with key industry stakeholders including pharmaceutical companies. 

How can institutional investors (such as VCs) get involved as sponsors?  There are three ways: 

  • Cash Prize Contribution: Investors can contribute a specified cash prize amount for the pitch challenge. This involvement grants them access to all pre-screened applications, the ability to help select finalists for the pitch, and a judging seat during the pitch session. 
  • Equity Investment Commitment: Investors can commit to an equity investment of a specified amount in one or more of the pitching companies, contingent upon due diligence. This option provides access to the final list of companies selected for the challenge and a judging seat during the pitch session. 
  • For those who choose not to commit a prize amount, access is still granted to observe the pitch session. 

If you have any questions or need more information about the pitch competition, please contact

Thank You to Our Pitch Competition Partner!