IDEA Incubator

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Congratulations to our IDEA Incubator 2019 Finalists

Grand Prize Winners – $10,000 Prize

Awarded the grand prize for a device to improve adherence to outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) were Sai Dodda, PharmD, clinical coordinator, Ballwin, Missouri, and Chris Sleckman, MS, engineer, Clayton, Missouri, both of HIVE, a student-run biotech startup at Washington University in St. Louis.

Second Place Finalists – $5,000 Prize

Mark Sendak, MD, MPP, of Duke Institute for Health Innovation and Cara O’Brien, MD, of Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, were awarded second place for Sepsis Watch, a software model that predicts sepsis within four hours of a patient being admitted to the emergency department to ensure timely delivery of treatment. It is being used in several hospitals and preliminary research has shown a 15% improvement in 3-hour sepsis treatment bundle compliance. They were awarded $5,000

Third Place Finalists – $2,500 Prize

Juan Walterspiel, MD, FAAP, a pharma, biotech and medical device consultant and inventor, of Menlo Park, California, was awarded third place for his passive solution to prevent CLABSI, which leads to 10,000 deaths every year. The innovation is an inexpensive sleeve that fits over the end of the valve connector of the line to prevent contamination. He was awarded $2,500.

Fourth Place Finalists

Ige George, MD, MS, and Gerome Escota, MD, both of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, were awarded fourth place for their Twitter-based platform, @WuidQ, which is the first free open-access medical education resource to provide review of infectious diseases through board-style, multiple-choice questions. It did not receive a cash prize, but was honored due to the high quality of the application.


IDEA Incubator Press Release

OPAT Adherence Device Wins Grand Prize at IDEA Incubator Competition
 Four Finalists Present ID Innovations at IDWeek 2019

Read the Full Release


Applications for the IDEA Incubator were reviewed and scored by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Telehealth and Technology Workgroup to determine the finalists for the live competition. Dan McQuillen, MD, FIDSA, also assisted with scoring. Finalists then presented their innovations to a panel of judges, including Jonathan Burkland, managing partner of River Corporate Advisors, LLC, Manon Floquet, an independent health care entrepreneur and Seth Radus, senior director of Federal Government Affairs for Abbott Laboratories, in addition to Dr. Odom John. All finalists were provided free booth space in Innovation Alley at IDWeek 2019


Important Dates

March 2020

Application Opens Online

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Competition Rules

      1. IDWeek and its affiliates are not responsible for any intellectual property submitted and/or presented at any time for its IDEA Incubator program during IDWeek 2019. Any individual, group, organization, or company is solely responsible for securing intellectual property protection. Learn how to secure your intellectual property.

      2. IDEA Incubator is open to IDWeek 2019 attendees only. This includes scientific attendees, exhibitors, invited speakers, and guests. Any group, company or organization that applies, must have at least one IDWeek 2019 attendee and this attendee must be the primary submitter.

      3. Applications will be reviewed after the cut-off date of July 1, 5 p.m. EDT. An incomplete application will be disqualified. See the Important Dates. 

      4. Accepted presenters will be notified by August 12, 2019. This information will include the presenter(s) rehearsal and presentation times. If accepted, but unable to present, then a 30 day notice is required.

      5. Presentations will be up to 5 minutes in length, followed by a 5 minute long question and answer period be the judges.

      6. A winning idea will be chosen by the judges. Cash prizes will be awarded to all finalists. 1st place will receive $10,000, 2nd place will receive $5,000, 3rd place will receive $2,500.

      7. The winning presentation will be presented unopposed during the Friday Special Session at 9:15 a.m. 

      8. The three finalists will receive complimentary booth space in Innovation Alley, in the IDWeek Exhibit Hall. The three finalists must agree to the competition rules and present at the IDEA Incubator session on October 3, 2019 to receive this space.

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Judgment Criteria

    1. The statement of problem/unmet need is well defined and articulated (scale of the problem, quantified number of patients, money spent on healthcare costs, societal costs).

    2. The target population is clearly defined and quantified.

    3. The innovation has the potential to solve the problem/meet the needs of the target population.

    4. The solution is economically viable (i.e. won’t be too expensive to be inaccessible).

    5. The expected health impact is reasonably estimated.

    6. The solution to the problem is novel and innovative.

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Securing Your Intellectual Property

The following articles may assist with securing intellectual property. Many other sources are available on the internet:

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