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NOLABA launches Health Innovators Challenge
[January 04, 2018]

NOLABA launches Health Innovators Challenge

NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 4, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Ochsner Health System and the City of New Orleans to launch the inaugural NOLA Health Innovators Challenge (NOLAHI).

NOLAHI is a groundbreaking initiative designed to connect the city's leading local healthcare stakeholders with the best high-growth startups by encouraging entrepreneurs to submit digital health solutions to any of three challenge statements submitted by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Ochsner Health System, Tulane Health System and Lafayette General Foundation. NOLABA's vision is for these connections to accelerate business activity in New Orleans and empower innovators and investors to leverage New Orleans' unique and growing health tech ecosystem to solve critical health challenges.

NOLAHI is powered by MedStartr technology, a leader in enabling healthcare crowd challenges. The deadline to submit custom solutions at is Jan. 15, 2018. Then, industry experts will review the applications, and the MedStartr platform will analyze applicants on more than 100 metrics, including product-market fit. People interested in healthcare innovation can also vote for their favorite startup solutions by visiting the NOLAHI website and joining the online community.

The challenge will culminate at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW) in March 2018 when finalists will pitch their tailor-made solutions. Selected finalist(s) are eligible to receive a cash prize of up to $36,000, as well as the opportunity to receive in-kind prizes, such as free co-working space, a spot on a startup accelerator program, and more items, subject to availability.

"NOLAHI is another proof point that economic development matters because people matter," said NOLABA President & CEO Quentin L. Messer, Jr. "More than the promise of attracting the most creative digital health companies to New Orleans, NOLAHI's potential to transform health outcomes of patients throughout the state is why NOLABA is so honored to be a part of this initiative.  Economic growth can and must positively impact lives. With our partners, collectively, New Orleans and all of Louisiana are taking a large step to ensure positive impact reaches more of our friends and neighbors through healthcare innovation."

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Ochsner posed a joint diabetes care challenge. Diabetes is among the leading causes of death in Louisiana.  In 2000, 6.6 percent of Louisiana adults had diabetes, which rose to 11.6 percent by 2013, according to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS, 2013).

"Our mission at Blue Cross is 'to improve the health and lives of Louisianians,' and in keeping with that, we are proud to partner with Ochsner and the New Orleans Business Alliance to be part of the NOLA Health Innovators Challenge," said Dr. Vindell Washington, chief medical officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. "We are excited about the potential for digital health solutions that will engage and empower patients while leading to more effective information sharing among payers and providers."

"At Ochsner Health System, innovation is part of our mission and we believe in the power of innovation, entrepreneurship and new thinking to lead to better health outcomes in our communities," said Aimee Quirk, Chief Executive Officer, innovationOchsner. "Diabetes is a major concern in the communities we serve and we will continue to seek out and implement innovative new ways to care for our patients so they can live their best lives.  Through NOLAHI, we, together with our partner Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, have a unique opportunity to engage some of the brightest and most creative minds to work alongside us to improve our region's health."

Contact: Rachel Whittaker
Marketing & Communications Manager

New Orleans Business Alliance

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SOURCE New Orleans Business Alliance

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