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IBX Game Changers Challenge

Enhancing health and wellness through innovation

Do you have a great idea that would help improve the health and wellness of the Philadelphia region? Then enter it in the IBX Game Changers Challenge, and you could win $50,000 towards making your idea a reality!




Independence Blue Cross (IBX) is teaming up with Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, the Department of Public Health of the City of Philadelphia, Venturef0rth, and ?What If! Innovation Partners to launch the IBX Game Changers Challenge. The Challenge seeks to harness the creative energies of our community by soliciting proposals that can impact wellness indicators and improve our region’s health. 

What you can do: Citizens, students, health professionals, and caregivers are invited to submit  high-impact proposals that can improve the overall health and wellness of Philadelphia and the surrounding region. We’re looking for new companies, applications, technology, products, programs, or services that promote health and wellness.

Why? Philadelphia Needs to Shape Up!

A recent study published by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranked Philadelphia last of 67 Pennsylvania counties in matters related to health. Men’s Health and Women’s Health magazines ranked Philadelphia at the bottom of its 2012 lists of the 100 healthiest cities across America (Philadelphia came in 98th for men, 97th for women). If you have an idea to help improve health and wellness in our region, enter the Challenge. Your idea could help change the game for the Philadelphia region.

Take the Challenge

To enter your idea, apply now. The call for entries will be open until Tuesday July 10, 2012, and a select group of finalists will be asked to present their ideas to a panel of judges. Up to three winners will be chosen, and each will receive a cash grant of $50,000, mentoring support, and access to a network of health care decision-makers to help implement their winning idea.

Read the FAQs for more information.

Challenge Timeline*

Monday, June 1, 2012: The Challenge begins and entries will be accepted.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012: Deadline for online entry submission through the website is 5 p.m. EST.

Monday, July 16, 2012: Announcement of finalists. Finalists will be notified by email and posted on this website.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012: In-person presentation by finalists. Finalists will be invited to make a 10-minute presentation of their proposal, followed by five minutes of Q&A, to the panel of judges in Philadelphia.

Week of August 13, 2012: Announcement of winners.

*IBX reserves the right to alter this timeline as the Challenge progresses. Please continue to check back.



The Challenge is open to individuals, organizations, or companies who live, work, or have significant existing operations (or are willing to establish significant operations) within the Greater Philadelphia Region, which includes Philadelphia, Chester, Montgomery, Delaware, or Bucks counties. Employees (or contractors) of IBX and its affiliates, Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs,  the Department of Public Health of the City of Philadelphia, VentureF0rth, and ?What If! Innovation Partners are not eligible to enter. Initial entries can be completed online at gamechangerschallenge.istart.org  and are due by 5 p.m. EST on July 10, 2012.

Entries must consist of a completed online entry form, and may also include additional written and visual materials describing your proposal. Additional materials should be no more than five pages in total. Entries should not contain any content that:

  • is inappropriate or not in keeping with the topic of the Challenge;
  • appears to duplicate any other Entries;
  • contains trademarks, logos, or trade dress (such as distinctive packaging or building exteriors/interiors) owned by others, without permission, to the extent permission is necessary;
  • contains any personal identification, such as license plate numbers, personal names, email addresses, or street addresses;
  • contains copyrighted materials owned by others (including photographs, sculptures, paintings, and other works of art or images published on or in websites, television, movies or other media), without permission, to the extent permission is necessary;
  • contains materials embodying the names, likenesses, voices, or other indicia identifying any person, including, without limitation, celebrities and/or other public or private figures, living or dead, without permission;
  • contains look-alikes of celebrities or other public or private figures, living or dead;
  • communicates messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or good will with which Sponsor wishes to associate; and/or
  • violates any law.

No information in the entry can be deemed confidential, proprietary, considered a trade secret or privileged by entrant or any third party. Entrant understands and agrees to be responsible for applying for any necessary intellectual property protections in connection with the entry, including, but not limited to, any patents, prior to submitting the entry. Entrant acknowledges and agrees that Sponsor is not responsible and will have no liability for any claims or actions associated with entrant’s failure to do so.        

Note:  Entrants are responsible for complying with any company/employer policies related to participating in challenges of this nature, including, but not limited to obtaining any necessary permissions from company/employer to participate and to submit the proposal (as defined below). Entrant can either enter on his/her own behalf, or on behalf of his/her company or organization if authorized to do so by such company/organization.

The Judges will evaluate the proposals and notify finalists by July 16, 2012. Finalists will be invited to make a 10-minute in-person pitch on July 24, 2012 after which winners will be selected. Winners will be announced during the week of July 30, 2012.

Please review the complete IBX Game Changers Challenge rules and conditions.



The IBX Game Changers Challenge, sponsored by Independence Blue Cross, is also supported by Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, the Department of Public Health of the City of Philadelphia, Venturef0rth, and ?What If! Innovation Partners — who are all interested in identifying and supporting entrepreneurs and innovative ideas that can impact health challenges affecting our region. Entries can be either for-profit or not-for-profit. Proposals can be for either one-time events or campaigns or for the establishment of lasting businesses, although preference will be given to proposals that may give rise to self-sustaining business entities. Entries will be evaluated by a panel of health care industry-expert judges including representatives of Independence Blue Cross, Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, the Department of Public Health of the City of Philadelphia, Venturef0rth, and ?What If! Innovation Partners.

Evaluation criteria include:

  • Problem:  Does the proposal addresses a significant problem fundamental to health in the Philadelphia region?
  • Impact: How does the proposal affect the selected problem?
  • Innovation and creativity: Is the proposal new and innovative?
  • Practicality: Is the proposal feasible, cost-effective, affordable, sustainable, and scalable?
  • Team: Do you have the right people to build a sustainable product or program?

Up to three winners will be selected after a round of in-person presentations and will be announced the week of August 13, 2012. Winners will receive:


  • a $50,000 grant toward implementation of their proposal;
  • an opportunity for the team to present their proposal to a panel of IBX decision-makers;
  • business mentoring services from Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs;
  • up to three months of desk space, business support, and advisory services at VentureF0rth, a health care-focused incubator in Philadelphia;
  • a consulting session provided by ?What If! Innovation Partners for each winner to help them further build out their idea and maximize its impact.


Committed to working together to improve the health and well-being of the Philadelphia region, supporters of the IBX Game Changers Challenge, sponsored by Independence Blue Cross, are:

Wharton Entrepreneurial Program, 3733 Spruce Street Philadelphia, PA

Part of the Management Department of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs (WEP) is widely considered one the most influential centers of entrepreneurship in the world and the hub for an array of world-class initiatives focused on knowledge creation, knowledge dissemination, and global outreach.

Department of Public Health of the City of Philadelphia

The Department of Public Health protects the health of all Philadelphians and promotes an environment that allows us to lead healthy lives. The department provides services, sets policies, enforces laws, and supports a broad network of community, hospital, academic, and business partners to make Philadelphia a healthy place to live, work and play.

Venturef0rth, 417 North 8th Street, Philadelphia, PA

Venturef0rth promotes the growth and success of Philadelphia’s early-stage tech community by providing members with a month-to-month workspace and community of peers.  As these startups mature and grow, Venturef0rth also brings members economies of scale from finance to human resources to IT operations and marketing.  Venturef0rth is dedicated to helping members to stay lean, efficient, and unrelentingly focused on successful execution.

?What If!  Innovation Partners, 137 2nd Avenue, New York, NY

For nearly twenty years, ?What If! has partnered with organizations hungry for growth. They have invented new products, brands, services, and business models; and have helped their partners build their in-house innovation capabilities to deliver real-world impact.



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