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$25,000 in prizes for health entrepreneurs at Hofstra competition

The Healthcare Entrepreneurship Community Challenge seeks products and services that improve relationships between patients and healthcare providers.

The challenge is being overseen by Hofstra's Center

The challenge is being overseen by Hofstra's Center for Entrepreneurship; partners include the university's School of Health Professions and Human Services, seen here on March 2, 2015. Photo Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

Hofstra University is hosting a healthcare entrepreneurship competition with $25,000 in prize money for business ideas that improve healthcare in metropolitan area communities.

The Healthcare Entrepreneurship Community Challenge is accepting proposals for products and services that strengthen the relationship between patients and healthcare providers in underserved communities on Long Island, New York City and the Hudson Valley region. The challenge is being overseen by the university's Center for Entrepreneurship. Partners on the challenge are the School of Health Professions and Human Services; Hofstra's medical school; and Northwell Ventures, the investment arm of New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health.   

Proposals are due April 27.

“We’re all on pins and needles waiting to see what the participants submit in terms of their solutions,” said Mark Lesko, vice president for economic development at Hofstra. “This challenge is one of the initial attempts at Hofstra to combine the focus on entrepreneurship with the focus on healthcare.”

The competition, part of a three-year program at the school, is supported by a $485,000 grant Hofstra received in September from the Regional Innovation Strategies program, a national grant competition tied to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Applicants to the competition don't need to operate an existing business, Lesko said.

Applications for the competition will be whittled to 30 participants, who will participate in a two-day “intensive boot camp.” There they will receive mentoring and technical assistance at crafting their business proposals and a pitch to obtain money for their ideas.

After a final pitch competition in October, three or more winners will be selected for a share of the prize money, Lesko said.

“The goal, ultimately, is to have these companies launch their new ventures and impact the targeted communities,” Lesko said.

Applications can be submitted to NYHealthChallenge.com.

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