Deadline extended! Submit by September 15

In collaboration with MATTER, Three Lakes Foundation is proud to commit more than $100K towards finding solutions for PF through the 2020 Pulmonary Fibrosis Innovation Challenge.

Submit your solution by 11:59pm on September 15 for the chance at cash prizes, collaboration opportunities with PF innovators and a broad cross-section of the PF community, and a one-year membership at MATTER.

Innovators are encouraged to submit solutions that address one or all of the following focus areas:

Solutions, engagement tools and technologies that help patients, caregivers and providers better understand and engage with their disease; improved inter-disciplinary communications

Time to Diagnosis
Data-enabled digital, medical or imaging tools that improve screening, detection and the accuracy of PF diagnosis; data analysis tools

Novel interventions and tools that enable both patients and caregivers to preserve patient health, well being and quality of life; Care coordination solutions between insurance, various providers and caregivers; New tools, technologies and solutions that will improve upon oxygen therapy that many people living with PF rely on today (Examples include product and canister innovation and improvements in battery life)

Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) affects more than 3M people globally.

Part of a family of 200 related lung diseases, PF can easily be disguised by a confounding set of symptoms and ailments. It robs individuals of their quality of life. About one-third of people are misdiagnosed for well over a year before reaching a PF diagnosis — and once they do, treatment options are limited. Three Lakes Foundation is dedicated to bringing together thought leaders and innovators — as part of the broader community of vested pulmonary fibrosis change agents — to increase awareness of the disease and accelerate the development of new solutions that improve diagnosis and care.

In June, Three Lakes Foundation and MATTER launched the PF Perspectives Project: An initiative that asked patients, caregivers and health care professionals to share their own stories about the biggest challenges to living with, or caring for someone with PF, today. Here are a few examples of what they had to say:

Maryluz | Patient | Challenge: Awareness

“I am out of breath, but I am not out of hope.”

Ed | Patient | Challenge: Care

“I was surprised to learn the experts I engaged were focused on narrow segments of my health.”

Patrick | Patient | Challenge: Diagnosis

“Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) goes largely undetected — for 4 years, in my case — causing anxiety, panic attacks, poor quality of life, job loss, hospitalization and even death. Fortunately, my 40-year career in the semiconductor industry lends itself to use practices of gathering knowledge and embedding it into software to improve time-to-diagnosis by 4-10X. The underlying problem is that the necessary information is unobserved, unrecognized or insufficient for the primary care provider to diagnose PF, as this is a rare disease and we practice prescriptive medicine.”

To hear more perspectives on PF, visit the PF Perspectives Library.

Want to learn more about PF? Click here or visit the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation website.

Challenge timeline

Submission criteria

Individuals and teams from across the innovation ecosystem — from existing startups, university researchers, students, incubators or accelerators, as well as other industry innovators — are encouraged to apply. The challenge is open to solutions of all stages, from early stage ideas and university-based concepts to marketed solutions. We also welcome patient and caregiver ideas.

Submission process

Submit an application by September 15, 2020 @ 11:59pm CT.

Eight to twelve finalists will be notified via the email indicated in their application by September 21, 2020.

See our Frequently Asked Questions for more info. For a full set of eligibility criteria, please see our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Incubation period

Finalists will participate in a required incubation period from September 24-November 13. During this phase, participants will validate and pressure test their solutions through interactive workshops, mentoring from subject matter experts and real-time feedback from the PF community — from clinical thought leaders to patients and caregivers. The time commitment is between 3-5 hours per week.

See full descriptions of the phases here

  • Week 1: Understanding the Problem-Solution Fit
  • Week 2: Defining the Value Proposition
  • Week 3: Engaging with Experts
  • Week 4: Developing the Plan
  • Week 5: Re-engaging with the PF Community
  • Week 6: Crafting the Story Final Pitches


  • People’s Choice: $10,000
  • Third Prize: $20,000
  • Second Prize: $30,000
  • Top Prize: $50,000 and a one-year membership to MATTER

How can my organization support this program?

We are looking to collaborate with companies across the respiratory health community: health systems, payers, pharma/biotech/device, researchers and advocacy groups to help guide the paths of our innovators. Specifically, we are hoping to identify people who can participate in one or more of the following ways:

  • Review innovation challenge submissions
  • Co-host a virtual roadshow event
  • Participate in sessions during our incubator phase
  • Serve as a judge in evaluating pitches
  • Financial sponsorship

About PF

Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a family of related lung diseases that are characterized by scarring in lung tissue. Over time, the scarring can make it difficult for oxygen to get into the blood. More than 200,000 Americans are living with PF — many of whom depend on therapeutic, supplemental oxygen around the clock. PF symptoms often mimic other, more common diseases, making it very difficult to diagnose.

About Three Lakes Foundation

Three Lakes Foundation (TLF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of pulmonary fibrosis, improving care for affected individuals and accelerating the development of promising new technologies and treatments. Through strategic partnerships and impact funding, TLF aims to improve time to diagnosis and ensure every patient has access to treatments that preserve health and quality of life until a cure can be realized. For more information, please visit


At MATTER, we believe collaboration is the best way to improve healthcare. The MATTER collaborative includes more than 200 cutting-edge startups from around the world, working together with dozens of hospitals and health systems, universities and industry-leading companies to build the future of healthcare. Together we are accelerating innovation, advancing care and improving lives. For more information, visit and follow @MATTERhealth.

About the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation mobilizes people and resources to provide access to high quality care and leads research for a cure so people with pulmonary fibrosis will live longer, healthier lives. The PFF collaborates with physicians, organizations, patients and caregivers worldwide. The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation has a three-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Better Business Bureau accredited charity. For more information, visit or call 844.TalkPFF (844.825.5733) or 312.587.9272 from outside of the U.S.

Also supported by:

Questions about the PF Innovation Challenge? Contact