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Triangle Health Innovation Challenge

Coming Fall 2020


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 students and young professionals (engineers, clinicians, designers, business people and others) to tackle and build innovative solutions for the biggest challenges in health and healthcare. Organized by students at UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, and NC State University, 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 of judges, and a grand prize winner will be selected!

Over the last three years, THInC has brought together 381 participants from across the Triangle and beyond. Winning solutions have included a wearable physical therapy activity tracker, an algorithm for smart patient-specific clinic scheduling, a virtual reality tool for veterans with PTSD, an app for preventing heart failure readmissions 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. Email us at to become a mentor!


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!

Sample Schedule


  • 5:30pm - 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!


  • 8:00am - 9:00am Breakfast and Late Registration

    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

  • 10:00am - 11:00am Seminar Series

    Optional seminars on using Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality tools to build your solution and pitch, and “How to Win a Hackathon”

  • 9:00am -- Team Breakout and Hacking
  • 10:00am - 1:00pm Mentor Meetings

    Meet with our clinical and idea validation mentors

  • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Catered Lunch
  • 2:00pm - 5:00pm Mentor Meetings

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

  • 7:00pm - 8:00pm Catered Dinner


  • 8:00am - 9:00pm Breakfast

  • 9:00am - 10:00am Practice Pitches with Mentors

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

  • 10:30am - 12:00pm Solution Expo

    All teams showcase their solutions to participants, judges and the public. Teams should prepare a 5 minute pitch presentation for a rotating panel of judges.

  • 12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch

  • 1:00pm - 2:20pm Final Pitches

    The top teams from the expo, as selected by participants and judges, will present a 5 minute pitch to the panel of final judges, followed by 5 minutes of Q&A.

  • 3:00pm - 3:30pm 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 3:30pm. 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 at just $15 before 12/1. 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.”

“This year’s [2019] program is focusing on sending the message that “the healthcare innovation space is accessible to all.” Aligning with this message, organizers are bringing on the first female keynote speaker in THInC’s history.”

“Brilliant healthcare app created for competition”

“All it takes is an idea and 60 seconds to show others the path to explore how a “pain point” becomes nothing more than an opportunity to innovate.”


We’re seeking academic and corporate sponsors for allowing us to hold THInC 2019. 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? Get in touch! 2019 sponsorship details coming soon!

Sponsors of THInC 2019 included:

Previous sponsors included Eisai, Innovate Carolina, Duke MEDx, Aetna, Biogen, Grifols, Janssen, Allscripts, Quintiles, 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, Duke MMCi, the Center for Advanced Hindsight, the Duke Brain Imaging Center, and the Health 2.0 NC Triangle Chapter. We thank our previous sponsors for their generous support!

Our Team

Pooja Joshi

Executive Co-Director

Pooja is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health majoring in Health Policy & Management and minoring in Entrepreneurship and Asian Studies. She is the Vice President of UNC AMWHO, an annual public health conference at UNC; Executive Director of UNC Samaa, North Carolina’s premier South Asian fusion a cappella team;…

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Anita Amin

Executive Co-Director

Anita is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, double majoring in Health Policy & Management and Biology, and minoring in Chemistry. She is the President and Co-founder of PI+CH (Promoting Innovations + Collaborations in Health) at UNC, a graduate and undergraduate student organization dedicated to engaging more students with health…

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Kathy Chan

Executive Co-Director

Kathy is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, majoring in Nutritional Biochemistry. Kathy conducts research surrounding novel fatty acids in Dr. Raz Shaikh’s lab. She also serves executive positions with the PI+CH team and a variety of minority and immigrant health groups, and volunteers as a doula with UNC Birth…

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Farial Rahman

Director of Media

Farial is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, majoring in Biostatistics and minoring in Chemistry. Outside of THInC, she works on TEDxUNC and Aaj Ka Dhamaka, an intercollegiate dance competition. She is also Reflections Co-Chair for APPLES, a service organization at UNC that seeks to promote active engagement in service…

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Hiral Jivanji

Director of External Logistics

Hiral is a fourth-year student at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy, pursuing her PharmD. She currently interns with Digital Health Impact and Transformation (DHIT), a social venture that aims to create innovative solutions to help the opioid crisis in North Carolina. Hiral is also involved with several pharmacy organizations and enjoys participating in patient…

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Howard Li

Assistant Director of External Logistics

Howard is a senior at Duke University majoring in Biomedical Engineering. He is also pursuing a minor in Chemistry as well as a certificate in the Innovation & Entrepreneurship program. He is a studio lead for the Design for America club at Duke, which focuses on applying concepts of human-centered design to create products that…

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Pranav Kemburu

Assistant Director of External Logistics

Pranav is a senior at NC State University, double majoring in Electrical Engineering and Economics. At NC State, he is also involved with Amateur Radio Club, Chancellor’s Aides, Social Innovation Fellows, and the Haiti Goat Project.

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Laura Gerlach

Co-Director of Finance and Sponsorship

Laura is a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Spanish for the Professions. Laura also serves as the President of the UNC Newman Center, Professional Development Director of the Honors Carolina Student Board, and Treasurer of PI+CH. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity…

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Deepika Senthil

Co-Director of Finance and Sponsorship

Deepika is a junior at UNC Chapel Hill on the pre-med track, majoring in Computer Science and Quantitative Biology with a minor in Public Policy. Outside of THInC, she works at Morehead Planetarium and does genetics research. For fun, she also enjoys going on impromptu adventures, napping, and eating lots of food while binge-watching reality…

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Raveena Kothare

Co-Director of Internal Logistics

Raveena graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Economics, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University. She is the Co-Founder of Duke Research in Engineering Program (DukeREP).

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Misbah Ahmad

Co-Director of Internal Logistics

Misbah is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill, majoring in Biomedical and Health Sciences Engineering, and minoring in Neuroscience. She also serves as the Director of Nutrition for Pearl Hacks, an all-female hackathon that is held in the spring at UNC.

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Our Advisory Board

Murali DoraiswamyBoard Chair; Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine, Duke University
David RubinowProfessor and Chair of Psychiatry; Director, UNC Innovation and Health Care System Transformation,UNC
Mary KlotmanDean of the School 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

Founding Team

Tanmay GokhaleMD, PhD. THInC Advisor
Sarah Miller
Steven Doerstling
Rui DaiStudent Advisor
Luke Soliman