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Triangle Health Innovation Challenge 2016


Bringing together the Triangle’s best to build innovative solutions for improving healthcare

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What is the Triangle Health Innovation Challenge?

The Triangle Health Innovation Challenge (THInC) brings together engineers, clinicians, designers, business people, students and others to tackle and build innovative solutions for the biggest challenges in health and healthcare. Organized by the Duke School of Medicine Innovation and Entrepreneurship Activity Group, and the Carolina Health Entrepreneurship Initiative, THInC brings together the academic, industry, pharmaceutical, startup and student communities to collaborate to solve problems of immense importance.

At THInC, you’ll join a team that’s tackling a specific “pain point” in health. Over the next 48 hours, you’ll work together to construct technological solutions to address your team’s problem, and in the process, help raise the standard of healthcare. You’ll hear from thought leaders, work with clinical, technical and business mentors, and stay well fed on local fare and copious coffee. On Sunday, each team will pitch their solutions to our panel of judges, and a grand prize winner will be selected!

Last year’s THInC brought together 127 participants from across the Triangle and beyond. 44 “pain points” in health were pitched, 25 solutions were proposed, and 15 teams formed to build innovative healthcare solutions. Winning solutions included a wearable physical therapy activity tracker, an algorithm for smart patient-specific clinic scheduling, a smart lung function trainer for COPD, and an EHR-integrated notification app for the Apple Watch.

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How To Get Involved


Whether you’re a master clinician, a expert engineer, a top-notch designer, a business mastermind, a student trying to become one of those, or just someone passionate about health, THInC will give you the opportunity to step outside of your usual silo and work in a collaborative, interdisciplinary team to bring about real change in health. Every THInCer has a unique skill set and background to contribute, and anyone who wants to help make a difference is invited to attend. Keep scrolling for more information and to register!


We also invite clinicians, healthcare leaders, experienced business people, investors and others to join us as mentors to help our participants validate and refine their ideas. Mentors will be scheduled for 2-hours of “office hours” where they will meet one-on-one with teams and provide feedback on their problem statement, solution and pitch.


If you’re a health care provider (or a patient) who’s seen something that’s broken in healthcare, but you can’t commit to joining us for the weekend, submit your ideas! What kind of technological innovations could help you or your patients? We’ll share your ideas with our participants and some of them may decide to come up with a solution for you!


Early bird registration closes on August 31st. After 8/31, registration prices increase to $15 for students and $25 for general admission. The registration fee covers your event entry, all meals for the weekend, an event t-shirt, and access to the tools and mentors you'll need to bring your ideas to life.

Friday, September 16

  • 6:00pm - 6:30pm Registration

  • 6:30pm - 7:00pm Dinner and Kickoff Speaker

  • 7:00pm - 7:45pm Problem Pitching

    Have an idea for a problem in healthcare you’d like to tackle? Present it to the audience in a 60 second pitch (no slides!)

  • 7:45pm - 8:15pm Mingling and Team Formation

    Meet with others whose pitches sounded interesting to you and begin to think about what team you would like to join.

  • 8:15pm - 9:00pm Solution Pitching

    The second round of pitches is solution focused. In 60 seconds, give a quick recap of the problem you’re working to solve, and focus on what you’re going to do to solve it. Be sure to mention what other types of team members you’re in need of (developers, business people, clinicians, etc)

  • 9:00pm - 9:20pm Mingling and Team Formation

    Talk some more with each of the teams you’re interested in joining, and pick a team to join! We encourage all teams to stay in the same area for at least 20 minutes so that all participants have a chance to find the right project for them.

  • 9:20pm -- Open Hacking Time

    Spread out and start planning out your approach to building a solution in the next 40 hours!

Saturday, September 17

  • 7:30am - 8:00am Registration

  • 8:30am - 9:00am Breakfast and Pitch Recap

    If you weren’t able to attend on Friday, you can hear about the teams that were formed and pick a team to join. All teams must be finalized by noon on Saturday

  • 9:15am -- Team Breakout and Hacking

  • 10:00am - 12:00pm Mentor Meetings

  • 12:00pm - 1:00pm Catered Lunch

  • 2:00pm - 4:00pm Mentor Meetings

    Clinical, technical and business mentors will be available to help you refine your problem statement and product

  • 5:30pm - 6:30pm Catered Dinner

Sunday, September 18

  • 8:00am - 9:00pm Breakfast

  • 10:00am - 12:00pm Mentor Meetings and Practice Pitches

    Mentors will be available to help you perfect your pitch and slide deck

  • 12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch

  • 2:00pm - 4:00pm Final Pitches

    Each team delivers a 4 minutes pitch to our panel of judges followed by up to 2 minutes for Q&A

  • 4:00pm - 4:30pm Social and Snacks

  • 4:30pm - 5:00pm Award Presentations

Schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Do I have to be from the Triangle to participate?

Definitely not! We welcome anyone who’s passionate about improving healthcare, whether you’re from the Triangle, North Carolina, or beyond.

How much time do I need to commit?

We expect all participants to be on-site Friday evening after 6pm, all day Saturday, and Sunday until 5pm. If you can’t make it on Friday, or need to leave early on Sunday, we can accommodate that, but you must be able to commit to participating all day Saturday and into Sunday afternoon. We don’t require teams to stay overnight working on their projects

How much does it cost?

Our registration fees are very low – $15 for students and $25 for everyone else. There’s also a $5 early bird discount before 8/31. Your fee includes a t-shirt, event and sponsor swag, and meals from dinner Friday evening to Sunday lunch and an afternoon snack. If you need financial assistance, please contact and we’ll do our best to accommodate you!

What type of projects can we work on?

You’re welcome to tackle any project related to health or healthcare. When selecting a project to pitch or to work on, remember that you should pick something for which you and your team can develop a prototype solution (typically an app, a website-based service, a workflow or a relatively simple physical device) within 48 hours.

Media Mentions

“It was really cool to connect with people with similar passions and to watch people from different backgrounds come together on a single project”


“The ingenuity and quality of the solutions that were presented on Sunday afternoon was stunning”


“The Triangle Health Innovation Challenge was organized by Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill students to bring together talent from around the region to solve pressing issues in health care.”

“Brilliant healthcare app created for competition”


We’re seeking academic and corporate sponsors for allowing us to hold THInC 2016. Sponsors have the opportunity to showcase their products/APIs, recruit new talent, and demonstrate their commitment to healthcare innovation in the Triangle and beyond!

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Read about corporate and academic sponsorship opportunities and get in touch

Our THInC 2015 sponsors included Mosaic Health Solutions, Validic, Metlife, Forecast Health, OrthoWilmington, the Duke Institute for Health Innovation, the Duke Pratt School of Engineering, the UNC Eschelman Institute for Innovation, and the Health 2.0 NC Triangle Chapter. We thank our previous sponsors for their generous support!

Our Team

Tanmay GokhaleCofounder; MD/PhD Student, Biomedical Engineering, Duke University
Luke SolimanCofounder; Business and Chemistry Major, UNC
Sarah MillerCofounder; Chemistry and Business Major, UNC
Steven DoerstlingCofounder; Public Health and Nutrition Major, UNC
Rui DaiMD/PhD Student, Duke University
Michael LinBiochemistry Major, UNC
Katy SmithPhD Student, Health Systems Engineering, NC State
Elliot KrauseBiomedical Engineering Major, UNC
Rizwan DardBiomedical Engineering Major, NC State
Rida ShamsHealth Policy and Management Major, UNC
Mihir PershadBiochemistry Major, UNC; Member of 2015 Winning Team
Kirin KhanMedical Student, Duke University

Our Advisory Board

Murali DoraiswamyProfessor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University
David RubinowProfessor and Chair of Psychiatry; Director, UNC Innovation and Health Care System Transformation,UNC
Mary KlotmanProfessor and Chair of Medicine, Duke University
Blake LongChief Clinical Officer of Mosaic Health Solutions
Shawn GomezAssociate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, NC State University
Dhruv PatelDirector of Investor Relations, Council for Entrepreneurial Development