Impact Hub Accra is hosting and organizing Health Hack Accra, a health innovation hackathon seeking to improve health outcomes throughout Ghana, West Africa, and the continent. The event, first of this kind sponsored by Merck, will bring together a diverse group of health entrepreneurs ranging from students to surgeons. Throughout the 48-hour competition, teams of 3-6 individuals will create, develop, and pitch innovative business models or products to a highly-esteemed local and international judging panel.
Health Hack Accra is designed to empower entrepreneurs and health professionals to use their first hand experience and talents to find and develop business opportunities in the health space. While Africa has seen a global focus on health improvement for decades, the pairing of medical needs with innovative energy will bring a unique shift to the field in Ghana, priming new health developments for both scale and sustainability. This hackathon will spur a new network of visionary health leaders, coming from all backgrounds to improve health outcomes.
The event, supported by key partners such as Hack for Big Choices (San Francisco, CA, USA) and Facebook (Mountain View, CA, USA), helps channel the innovation and strength of Silicon Valley into a forum for locally-driven and developed solutions to some of the continent’s largest challenges. The three winning teams, selected by a local and international judging panel, will receive a business development prize pack – including six months of co-working in the Merck Entrepreneurial Development Space (MEDspace) located at Impact Hub Accra, a five-day Unreasonable Labs business acceleration course, and support from Facebook (including acceptance into the Bootstrap track of the FbStart program, support to create a Free Basics compatible website, and complimentary business software).
“All throughout the continent, health challenges and potential solutions have been isolated by physicians, patients, and communities. We’re excited to support people passionate about improving health outcomes – providing the tools necessary to take dreams and turn them into reality. Through our partnership with Merck we will be able to provide the next generation of health leaders with the resources needed to change Africa’s health landscape.” – Emily Sheldon, Director of Health Innovation, Impact Hub Accra
“Participating in the Healthcare Hackathon in Ghana will enable us to use our expertise in supporting entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into reality. The project offers us the opportunity to help develop solutions to problems that are faced not only by people in the region, but in countries all over the world.” – Michael Gamber, Merck Innovation Center
Multi-stakeholder collaborations are necessary to address complex challenges. Over the coming months we will be scouting organizations, institutions, Universities, NGOs
and private companies that can bring funding, knowledge, expertise and technologies that can add value to and catalyze the improvement of health in Africa.
ABOUT IMPACT HUB ACCRA
Impact Hub Accra is a leading social entrepreneurship and innovation center in Ghana. It’s mission is to support inclusive growth in West Africa through the creation of a resilient and dynamic social innovation ecosystem. The hub offers everything needed for promising startups to succeed, including: a collaborative work space, cutting-edge accelerator programs, a makerspace, a digital innovation lab, pitch and leadership workshops, inspiring events, opportunity to design and prototype, and even an in-house cafe! Impact Hub Accra serves as a convergence point for local and international innovators. Leading partners include the US Government (BBG), Unreasonable Institute, British Council, Siemens Foundation, Facebook, Hack for Big Choices, Merck, and Ghana Angel Investor Network. The hub is a member of the Impact Hub Network, an association of 82 hubs around the world, giving the Impact Hub Accra’s members global reach and opportunities to collaborate with aligned peers.
Also published on Medium.