Innovations Pitch Competition 

The Innovations Pitch Competition was on hiatus for the 2023 Annual Meeting.  We are looking forward to an exciting new format when it returns in 2024. 

The Innovations Pitch Competition is a TED Talk-style, rapid-pitch session held in front of a live audience at the Annual Meeting. Five finalists are selected to pitch their innovative ideas for a monetary prize. 

5th Annual Innovations Pitch Competition

2022: The 5th Annual Innovations Pitch Competition focused on global health and equity. Read a blog about the competition here.

Grand Prize Winner: Subrahmanyam Prasad Muddam, Heamac Healthcare Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad, Telangana State, India
"nLite360® An Intelligent Phototherapy System for Neonatal Jaundice"
2nd Place: Jiyeon (Chloe) Lee, 1Noul Co., Ltd., Seattle, WA, USA, 2Noul Co., Ltd., Seoul, R.O.Korea
 "miLab, The Decentralized Malaria Diagnostic Platform"

3rd - 5th Place (listed alphabetically): 

  • Marvin Aturinda Daniel, Uganda Cancer Institute, Kampala, Uganda
    "Developing a low-cost minimal invasive pancreatic cancer diagnostic tool through use of blood biopsy"
  • Ahnaf Ilman, Dhaka Residential Model College, Mohammadpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh 
    "Bacto Crop: Accelerating crop seed germination rate and promoting plant growth using soil microbiome"
  • Jay Iyer, 1Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA, 2Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA
    "Low-cost Screening of Parkinson’s Disease Using Geometric Features Extracted from Hand-Drawings" 
Audience Favorite: Jay Iyer


Thank you to our judges for their participation in our 5th Annual Competition. 

  • Dan Bausch, FIND, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Molly Klarman, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
  • Lina Moses, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, USA
  • Sumi Paranjape, IQVIA Inc., Seattle WA, USA
  • Matthias Strobl, Roche Diagnostics, Penzberg, Germany

4th Annual Innovations Pitch Competition

2021: The 4th Annual Innovations Pitch Competition highlighted tools and methods to improve two of the most consequential threats to a healthy and sustainable world: resilience in the face of a pandemic and reducing the deleterious impact of climate change.

Grand Prize Winner: Farhana Sultana, icddr,b, Dhaka, Bangladesh 
Developing a machine to produce jute cellulose-based sanitary pads for sustainable menstrual health
2nd Place: Vivek Jason Vayaraj, University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur City, Malaysia
International Pandemic Preparedness Centre (IPPC): Unified Infectious Disease Surveillance System 
3rd - 5th Place (listed alphabetically): 

  • Sachini Fernando, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
  • Hiruni Harichandra, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka 
    "RaBCO - Rapid, breath detector for COVID-19" 
  • Deus Kamya, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda 
    "Phage-based capsules for V. cholerae decontamination in pit latrines and other reservoirs in Uganda"

Audience Favorite: Deus Kamya

Thank you to our judges for their participation in our 4th Annual Competition. 

  • Koya Allen, ISGlobal, Barcelona, Spain
  • Dan Bausch, FIND, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Margaret Glancey, VecTech, Baltimore, MD, United States
  • Thomas M. Lendvay, Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA, United States
  • Matthias Strobl, Roche Diagnostics, Penzberg, Germany

3rd Annual Innovations Pitch Competition

2020: The 3rd Annual Innovations Pitch Competition session, "Healthy Children, Healthy Planet," focused on the interconnectivity of children’s current and future health with planetary health and sustainability. This year we challenged innovators to provide proposals that support a healthier, more sustainable world, with a particular focus on benefit for future generations. 

Grand Prize Winner: Sreekar Mantena
Smartphone-based system for imaging and automated analysis of the corneal endothelium

2nd Place: Molly Klarman
MotoMeds: Pediatic telehealth and mobile pharmacy services 

3rd - 5th Place (listed alphabetically):

  • Prince Kajazi Kaude, RN: Improving survival of children with Burkitt Lymphoma by beans of ultrasound screening 
  • Lok Pokhrel: Smart Rapid-Acting Antiviral Therapy (Smart-RAAT) against COVID-19
  • Adam Soomro Project DIY (Don It Young)

Audience Favorite: Prince Kaude, RN

ASTMH August 2021 Newsletter article: Question and Answer with the 2020 Innovations Pitch Competition 'Audience Favorite' Winner

Thank you to our judges for their participation in our 3rd Annual Competition. 

  • Dan Bausch, UK Public Health Rapid Support Team, London, UK
  • Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Rice University, Houston, TX
  • Matthias Strobl, Roche Diagnostics GmbH, Penzberg, Germany
  • Minmin Yen, PhagePro, Boston, MA

Note of Appreciation

Many thanks to the Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC) for their celebration of Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, FASTMH, FAAP, and support of our mission. Many thanks to Roche for their funding. A special thank you to Dr. Hotez, an ASTMH Past President and recipient of the 2019 RMHC Awards of Excellence, for sharing his grant award with the Society.

2nd Annual Innovations Pitch Competition

2019: Innovations for Response to Outbreak-Prone Diseases: A Challenge to Innovators to Pitch their Ideas for Reducing Risk, Improving Prediction and Delivering Better Healthcare Tools in Resource-Limited Settings. Innovative ideas for mitigating outbreak-prone disease risk through novel uses of social communication, improved predictive capabilities, or development of better tools to detect disease, control disease, and disseminate information on disease spread.

Grand Prize Winner: Minmin Yen, PhagePro
Prophalytic-Vc: A Phage-based Intervention to Disrupt Household Transmission of Cholera
For more information, visit their website.

2nd Place: Chang Hee Kim, GoDx: Rapid, Low-cost Field Diagnostic for Pathogens that Cause Diarrhea Outbreaks

3rd - 5th Place (listed alphabetically)
  • Laura Braun, Capta Diagnostics: Smart Microscopy for Diagnosing Soil-transmitted Helminths and Schistosomiasis  
  • Holiday Goodreau, TickTracker: TickTracker Mobile Application
  • Chouaibou Mouhamadou, Environment Entomology Textile Associates: A Trapping Bed Net (T-Net) to Overcome Mosquito Insecticide Resistance
​Audience Favorite: Laura Braun

ASTMH September 2020 Newsletter article: Catching Up With 2019 Innovations Pitch Winner, Minmin Yen, PhD

Thank you to the 2019 Innovations Pitch Competition educational supporter, Roche Diagnostics, Inc., and our sponsors ASTMH and Vulcan, Inc.

First Annual Innovations Pitch Competition

2018: Innovations for Mitigation Response to Outbreak-Prone Diseases: A Challenge to Innovations for Reducing Risk, Improving Prediction and Delivering Better Healthcare Tools. Topics for innovation include mitigating risk through social communication, improving predictive capabilities, delivering better tools (surveillance, diagnostics, data-sharing, vector control, as examples), and other novel innovations to prevent, detect and respond to outbreaks of international concern.

Grand Prize Winner: Tristan Ford and Margaret Glancey, VectorWEB
 A Novel System for Autonomous Vector Surveillance

2nd Place: Camila De Oliveira, FIOCRUZ: Rapid strip test for ID and surveillance of cutaneous leishmaniasis risk areas

3rd - 5th Place (listed alphabetically):
  • Rinki Deb, Determining Indoor Residual Spraying Quality using Electromagnetic Wave Sensors
  • David Serre, A Universal and high-throughput vector-borne disease surveillance assay
  • Rhys O'Neill and David Cyprian, Novetta: Assessments, Boots on the Ground, Communications, Data...: An A-Z Solution for Social Mobilization in Developing Regions


(Winners of the 2018 Innovations Pitch Competition, Tristan Ford [left] and Meg Glancey [center] of VectorWEB at the Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design, and their professor Dr. Soumyadipta Acharya [right], the Graduate Program Director of the JHU CBID.)

ASTMH October 2019 Newsletter article: Whatever happened to the 2018 Innovations Pitch Competition Winner, VectorWEB?

Thank you to the 2018 Innovations Pitch Competition sponsors, ASTMH and Vulcan, Inc.