Three Lakes Partners Launches $1 Million ‘IPF Catalyst Challenge’ Competition


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Three Lakes Partners, a venture philanthropy organization that finances research in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), has launched its $1 million IPF Catalyst Challenge — a competition to fund the most promising ideas in improving quality of life for IPF patients.

The challenge is open to nonprofit groups as well as for-profit ventures. The $1 million prize will fund up to three big ideas. Anyone seeking global innovators, entrepreneurs or designers to develop a real, executable solution may apply to one of the competition’s four categories: early diagnosis and detection; patient education and engagement; oxygen improvement; and improving the care continuum.

Submissions that do not fall into any of these categories are also welcome, as long as applicants can demonstrate that their ideas could improve the quality of life of IPF patients or their family members and caregivers.

Registrations will be accepted until Oct. 25, 2017. Full applications must be submitted by Nov. 8, 2017, in order to be considered.

“IPF kills about the same number of people each year as breast cancer, yet it remains an unknown disease that receives very little attention,” Ken Bahk, managing director of Three Lakes Partners, said in a press release. “We’ve taken a stand and created the IPF Catalyst Challenge so brilliant minds everywhere can come together to help improve the lives of IPF patients and their caregivers, and help eradicate this disease that has claimed countless lives.”

Bank added: “We know we can create solutions for those suffering from IPF by engaging the world’s best and brightest minds, and encourage anyone who thinks they can make a difference to join us in the fight against this terrible disease.”

Once finalists are announced in December, contest organizers will give them the chance to pitch their ideas to a selection committee in January 2018. Rules, regulations and other important details are available here.

To launch the IPF Catalyst Challenge, Chicago-based Three Lakes Partners is collaborating with Matter, a healthcare technology incubator and innovation hub; Ideo, an award-winning global design and innovation consultancy; and Common Pool, which creates competitions to debate the world’s most challenging problems.

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