Challenge statement

Uncontrolled respiratory patients often cycle through rounds of conventional prescription therapies without relief. How can we identify, activate and support these patients to find advanced biologic prescription treatment options earlier?

The challenge is open to solutions that address one or more of the following tracks:

Track 1: Identify people earlier
How can we use novel tools to identify patients earlier who are not controlled on their current prescription medication and are appropriate patients for biologic therapies?
E.g. Symptom trackers, AI analytics tools, EHR patient identification algorithms

Track 2: What educational tools can we provide to appropriate patients to access respiratory biologic therapies?
How can we support patients in gaining access to respiratory therapies?
E.g. Patient education around coverage benefits, solutions that reduce out-of-pocket costs, care navigation support such as prescription fulfillment

Track 3: Support clinical practices
What tools can we provide to pulmonologist and allergist offices to help them navigate prior approval of specialty respiratory biologics?
E.g. In-network benefit identification solutions, patient management solutions including prior authorization or automation tools


Tens of millions of Americans live with a chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.1 Not only do these lung conditions directly affect quality of life, they’re also a leading cause of death in the U.S.; however, both discomfort and death are avoidable with the right treatment and care.2,3

Patients with certain respiratory diseases often cycle through rounds of conventional therapy and burst of steroids before eventually finding their way to advanced treatment options. MATTER with the support of large pharmaceutical manufacturers has launched the Respiratory Care Innovation Challenge asking: How can we activate patients to break this cycle and find advanced biologic prescription treatment options earlier?

We’ve determined three core opportunities for improvement:

Identify people earlier
Respiratory conditions can greatly impact the quality of life of those affected, including limiting their physical activity, causing them to miss school and work and creating anxiety, fear and depression.4 By identifying people who are undertreated or have uncontrolled symptoms on current therapies earlier, we can help more people live better, healthier lives.

Educate and activate patients
People with respiratory conditions can face many barriers to getting the care they need, including a lack of awareness of the signs and symptoms, not knowing when symptoms are uncontrolled, being referred to the wrong specialist and not being able to afford their treatment. Removing such barriers will help these populations gain access to the respiratory therapies they need. Older adults and lower-income Americans often face additional barriers to getting care.

Support clinical practices
A provider’s ability to easily and seamlessly prescribe specialty respiratory medications is critical to getting people with respiratory conditions the treatment they need. However, they often delay or avoid prescribing a treatment due to prior authorization requirements, which can have life-or-death consequences.5,6 Providers and their staff need more support navigating prior authorization approval of specialty respiratory products.

Benefits of participation

This challenge will provide participants with the opportunity to present their solutions to an audience of industry leaders and MATTER. One winning solution will receive a $15,000 cash award, and two runners-up will each receive a $5,000 cash award.

Challenge participants should expect to:

  • Engage with other cutting-edge startups
  • Network with peers and leading influencers
  • Receive mentorship from industry leaders and subject matter experts to validate their solutions and refine their value propositions
  • Gain exposure to the MATTER community
  • Present to potential investors, partners and clients
  • First place startup will receive a free, six-month MATTER membership
  • Participate in person at the final showcase in Boston, Massachusetts, during the week of April 15, 2024


January 8: Applications open
March 3: Applications close
March 15: Finalists announced
March 18-April 12: Startup bootcamp
Week of April 15: Final showcase (in person in Boston)

Who should apply?

We’re seeking entrepreneurs who are developing a solution to identify, activate and support patients who require respiratory therapy. This global call for solutions is open to startups from across the innovation ecosystem with an established proof of concept, evidence of product-market fit and business model potential.

Participants must be available to spend two hours on this challenge each week from March 18 to April 12 and travel to Boston during the week of April 15 to present to a live audience.

See the Respiratory Care Innovation Challenge FAQs for more information.

Selection criteria

Submissions will be evaluated with the following criteria in mind:

  • Ability of the solution to improve the identification, activation or support of respiratory patients
  • Quality, feasibility and scale of proposed solution or technology
  • Differentiation of solution within the competitive landscape
  • Capability of participant/team to develop and execute solution

Submission process

Applications will be open from January 8, 2024, until March 3, 2024, at 11:59pm CT. By March 15, MATTER will select and notify up to five teams to participate in the final showcase during the week of April 15. Each participant will need to be in person at the showcase in Boston, Massachusetts, to participate.

See the full Terms and Conditions.


At MATTER, we believe collaboration is the best way to improve healthcare. The MATTER collaborative includes more than 800 current and alumni 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.