- On March 29, 2018
This past weekend technologists, web developers, and medical professionals gathered at theClubhou.se to try and improve public health factors in midsize communities using technology. The Southeast Startup Challenge kicked off in Augusta, after more than 15 months of site visits, focus groups, research, public health sessions and interviews with county health officials, government agencies, and area non-profits. Challenges related to homelessness, veteran support services, emergency management, and childhood nutrition were suggested to the team of entrepreneurs, programmers, coders, and makers. The objective: Create a company in two days to solve the challenge and pitch to a panel of judges, gearing up to win cash prizes and services including a trip to Athens, GA in June to compete statewide with the four other cities. By Sunday, five teams pitched and two winners were announced.
Over the next three months, the local winners will practice their pitch, formalize their business model, team build their prototype and launch their company. Team DisasterMED, which developed diagnostic and communications tools to improve emergency shelter management, and Creative Solutions, which designed software to improve client management and retention for WIC participants, each won a $2500 Startup grant from theClubhou.se and moved on to the next level where they will compete for $25,000 in cash and services from Augusta University.
What started out as a conversation with representatives from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at SXSW has evolved into a two year $500,000 funded partnership with Augusta University, Department of Clinical and Digital Health Sciences. Four other Collaborative Workspaces in Athens (FourAthens), Macon (Spark Macon), Columbus (ColumbusMakesIT) and Rome (Makervillage) are all hosting their city Southeast Startup Challenge later in April. If you missed out on participating in Augusta’s you can always compete virtually or pay a visit to another town. The Southeast Startup Challenge concludes June 18th when winners from all five cities converge in Athens to kick off Emergent, a weeklong conference celebrating entrepreneurship and innovation around the southeast.