The health of our MATTER community — and the global community at large — is our utmost priority. Due to recent global developments with COVID-19, MATTER and the Three Lakes Foundation have determined that the Pulmonary Fibrosis Innovation Challenge will be postponed. We will be monitoring the situation as it develops. Check back here for details or reach out to the PF Innovation Challenge inbox with questions.

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

Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) is a silent assassin.
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.

2020 is the year to shorten the time to diagnosis, increase the research funding available and find new tools and approaches that preserve the health and quality of life for people living with PF.

Innovators are encouraged to submit solutions that address either (or both) of the following focus areas:

TRACK 1: Advance PF disease awareness and improve time to diagnosis

Developing effective therapies and cures for PF starts with strong awareness.

What novel approaches, tools and programs will allow us to build awareness rapidly and meaningfully in order to empower symptomatic individuals, patients and caregivers to pursue an accurate diagnosis? What are new and improved methods of screening, detection and diagnosis that will help better translate this awareness into treatment and care at earlier stages of the disease?

We are seeking:

  • Solutions, engagement tools and technologies that help patients, caregivers and providers better understand and engage with their disease
  • Data-enabled digital, medical or imaging tools that improve screening, detection and the accuracy of PF diagnosis

TRACK 2: Preserve health and improve care for PF patients

PF has no cure (yet). When a person is diagnosed with PF, their quality of life becomes the priority.

What novel technologies and tools will help preserve the health of people with PF and protect their quality of life? How can we support and empower the caregivers who play a significant role in helping to sustain the health and wellness of their loved ones?

We are seeking:

  • Novel interventions and tools that enable both patients and caregivers to preserve patient health, well-being and quality of life.
  • 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.

To learn more about PF, see our background sheet or visit the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation website.

Challenge prizes

Finalist teams will gain access to curriculum, mentoring and networking within the PF innovation community. Additionally, teams will be matched with in-kind service offerings including marketing, legal, business and financial support

Finalists will participate in our final pitch day and PF Innovation Forum, at which the following financial rewards will be disseminated:

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

Challenge timeline

To be updated. Check back soon!

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.

Submission process

Eight to twelve finalists will be notified via the email indicated in their application. Finalists will be invited to participate in a required incubation period, including a bootcamp at MATTER in Chicago, IL.

Throughout the incubation period, finalists will refine their value proposition and perfect their pitch. Finalist teams are strongly encouraged to take advantage of MATTER workshops and mentorship offerings during incubation.

See our Frequently Asked Questions for more info.