HSC and JPS Innovation Challenge

Submission Phase

Powered by Heartland Forward and Builders + Backers

May 30
Application Deadline
June 10
Notify Accepted Builders
June 16
Summer Cohort kickoff & orientation 
5 weeks Virtual Sessions
5 weeks Experimentation
August 25
Capstone Event
HSC Next logo
Builders + Backers logo
Heartland Forward logo
JPS Health Network logo

HSC & JPS Innovation Challenge

Want to solve a problem in health care? Tell us your idea!

We know they're out there...unexpected, exciting ideas that can create solutions for a healthier community. We are looking for health care solutions and the creative thinkers behind them. Those accepted to the Idea Accelerator join a virtual program with world-class mentors and training in entrepreneurial approaches, plus up to $5,000 in non-dilutive funding.


  • May 30: application deadline
  • June 10: notify accepted Builders
  • June 16: Summer Cohort kickoff & orientation
  • 5 weeks Virtual Sessions
  • 5 weeks Experimentation
  • August 25: Capstone Event
Who can participate?

This Innovation Challenge is open to all employees, faculty, students and residents at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) and JPS Health Network (JPS). Teams comprised of up to four members are welcome and encouraged, but not required.

  • Innovators submit ideas by answering questions on the linked application.
  • The HSC Next team provides feedback to all applicants.
  • Semi-finalists are selected to participate in a 90-day virtual program with up to $5k in funding.
  • Finalists move forward with HSC support and a designated mentor.

Tell us your idea. 

Submit your application.

Click the START button to submit your idea. You will be prompted to create a login (if you haven't already), which will allow you to save, edit and manage your content. The Idea Accelerator application includes questions about you and your idea. The deadline to submit is May 30, 2022.

Saving & editing:

Click "SAVE TO DRAFT" on the application form, and return any time before the deadline to edit or finish the application. Access saved applications through "MY CONTENT" in your member profile (top right corner of the screen).  

Need a little inspiration?

Explore the HSC Next platform to discover resources that can help you think about or develop your idea. You can find Tools to help you develop your idea,   Stories that will inspire you to think like an entrepreneur, Connectors that offer innovation programming and even Events that will challenge you to grow as an innovator. Check back often as the resources are frequently updated.


If you have questions about this Challenge, completing your submission or using this site, please reach out to

What's YOUR solution?

In partnership with Builders + Backers and Heartland Forward, HSC Next is launching a Summer cohort of their Idea Accelerator right here in Fort Worth. This Innovation Challenge is your opportunity to improve health outcomes through an entrepreneurial model. 

Despite decades of advancement in medical technology and scientific research, the health care industry remains ripe with opportunity for improvement.

JPS Health Network ("JPS") and The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth ("HSC") are partnering in this Innovation Challenge to improve health care outcomes. We are seeking solutions to unmet needs across the continuum of health science.

HSC's core value to Serve Others First compels us to create innovative solutions that improve opportunities for all to achieve optimum health. HSC also believes in the power of entrepreneurship to bring such solutions to our community.

Here are some ideas to get you started! Examples of solutions through which innovators could transform our community might include but are not limited to: 

  • Novel processes for improving delivery of care and the patient experience
  • Wearable devices for personal health and wellness management
  • Products or services that facilitate disease self-management, patient-provider communication and/or care coordination
  • Tools, processes and equipment to benefit or improve environmental conditions in facilities that support biomedical research
  • Novel strategies to increase engagement and understanding across diverse patient populations
  • Innovative technologies, materials and aids for classroom instruction of K-12 and undergraduate students as well as the general public
  • New materials or processes that increase sustainability in health care
  • Digital health care interventions to address the secondary health effects of COVID-19
  • Innovative tools and technologies that that address the uniqe needs of aging adults to promote independence and aging in place
  • Methods to increase recruitment and retention of clinical trial subjects
  • Means to improve primary care, mental health, specialty medical services or emergency care in medically underserved communities
  • Unique gear or devices to combat burnout in health care providers

So, take the challenge! How would you innovate to improve health care in America?

How to apply

Click the START button on this page.  The application includes questions about you and your idea. You will be prompted to create a login (if you haven't already), which will allow you to save, edit and manage your content. 


If you have questions about this Challenge, completing your submission or using this site, please reach out to

Terms & Conditions


This Innovation Challenge will be conducted in accordance with HSC core values:

  • Serve others first – encourage growth, well-being and success of each other and people we serve
  • Integrity – uphold the highest ethical standards
  • Respect – treat everyone with dignity and compassion
  • Collaboration – work together to achieve shared goals
  • Be Visionary – create innovative solutions in the pursuit of excellence


The UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth (“HSC”) is sponsoring the Health Science Innovation Challenge (“Challenge”) to stimulate ideas for innovation in the virtual education experience for postgraduate students at a health science center. Ideas with the most promising potential for innovation will advance to a competition where innovators with the top ideas will be awarded funding, resources and mentors to help them take the Best Next Step with their ideas. For background information, submission deadlines and other Challenge details, see the specific challenge website  here.

The Challenge will be managed by the HSC Next team using the online platform at (“Platform”). The Challenge, and your participation in it, is governed by these Innovation Challenge Terms & Conditions (“Terms”). Participants agree to be bound by these Terms upon submitting a Challenge entry through the Platform. HSC may revise these Terms at any time during the course of the Challenge to provide additional information or to improve the quality of the Challenge. Unanticipated issues that arise may require modifications to these Terms. HSC reserves the right to revise these Terms as it, in its sole discretion, deems necessary. All participants will be notified of revisions in a timely manner.

Please send any questions about this challenge and/or feedback regarding these Terms to

Common Qs about this Challenge...

Who is eligible?

This Challenge is open to all HSC students, staff and faculty + providers, employees and residents of JPS. You do not need a certain job title, role or affiliation. You do not need an existing legal entity (e.g. a business or nonprofit organization). You don’t even need to be planning to start a venture. You simply need a problem you care about, an idea for addressing that problem and a willingness to learn.

What kinds of ideas are you looking for?

We are looking for bold, compelling, novel and innovative ideas that solve unmet needs across the continuum of health science. The idea should be well defined and articulated in an easily understandable way. Preference will be given to ideas with potential for commercialization through a startup vehicle.

What is the Builders + Backers Idea Accelerator?
The Idea Accelerator is a program designed to be your onramp to entrepreneurship. It equips participants with world-class entrepreneurial tools to test their idea, fueled by up to $5,000 no-strings-attached funding. 

What do you mean by testing an idea?
When we say we help you "test your idea," we don’t mean drawing up an exam. We test ideas through experimentation. Let's put your solution in front of potential users or customers and then gauge what actions those people do or don’t take (not what they SAY but what they DO). We run tests to prove or disprove a hypothesis so we figure out quickly and inexpensively whether our idea works. This helps prevent us from diving head first into an expensive, time-consuming and risky venture before we’ve validated that our ideas hold merit.

Can I work with a team?

Of course! Teams of up to four can collaborate on a project. One "point person" must be designated to streamline communications and to attend all required sessions. 

What is the time commitment?

Total commitment is approximately 3 hours per week during the first 45 days and 3–5 hours per week during the experimentation phase. Most of this is self-directed, giving Builders the ability to do the work according to what works within their own schedules. We will cover expectations in detail before anyone makes a commitment. Submitting your idea just takes a few minutes, so let's get started!

Who will be judging the entries?

Each idea submitted will be judged by a diverse panel of innovation experts from multiple industries including the HSC Next team and partner organizations. 

When will I hear back?

All applicants will receive feedback by Friday, June 10th. This may be suggestions, guidance and/or an invitation to join the Builders + Backers cohort.

How are the pebble funds used?

Each Builder who goes through the program may access up to $5,000 in Pebble Funds to cover the cost of their experiment. Builders are required to complete the prerequisite training and coaching sessions in the first 45 days of the program before funds may be accessed to begin their experiments. The Builders + Backers team helps each participant create and refine a Builder’s Blueprint, which includes a proposed experiment, an action plan and timeline, and a budget. Once this Blueprint is approved, the Builder receives a controlled credit card which they may use to make pre-approved purchases, and they are responsible for submitting receipts for all expenses.

We believe everyone has ideas that can change the world.

Learn more about HSC Next Innovation Challenges!