Florida Blue Statewide Heath Care Innovation Pitch Competition


2018 Theme: Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression is a growing health problem many people face in today's rapidly changing and fast-moving world. Neither of these illnesses discriminates. All age groups, ethnicities, genders and professions are susceptible to debilitating bouts of anxiety and depression on an intermittent or chronic basis at some point in their lives. The American Psychological Association estimates there are 40 million American adults (18 and older) who have some type of anxiety disorder. Similarly, researchers believe there are more than 14 million Americans who suffer from depressive disorders. It is evident this is a growing and highly prevalent health issue in our society today.

We are actively seeking innovative solutions that support the treatment of anxiety and depression through improving access to therapies, reducing the stigma of treatment, increasing engagement treatments, personalizing treatment access and options, improving convenience of treatments or encouraging ongoing mental health wellness.

There is a broad range of application areas on which solutions can be focused. Below are some examples that may help articulate and frame ideas.

Target Age Groups

Adolescents, college students, adults or the elderly

Target Clinical Groups

Including but not limited to: military service men and women, their families and significant others; educational applicants; current students; grief management; workers stress; family stress; people managing chronic and terminal diseases; those dealing with end-of-life issues; cultural displacement; peer-pressure (bullying); pet grief; social media impact and others.

Possible Interventions and Support Mechanisms

Including but not limited to: personal or group mobile applications; support networks (peer-to-peer, cross generational); electronic platforms; gamification, virtual and augmented reality; physical activities programs; sensory assistance (including use of sensory stimulation); relaxation programs; stress-relieving mechanical or electronic devices; personal electronic physiological monitoring devices and others.

Innovative approaches, products or business models can play an important role in how this problem is addressed/solved. Lives will likely be significantly impacted by the innovative solutions developed to support treatment of anxiety and depression. So, good luck!

The competition:


July 1

Final day to apply with innovation plans to support treatment of those with anxiety and depression issues


Up to 12 competition finalists will be notified and awarded $1,000 to further develop their innovation

July - September 30

Mentorship and development of innovations are offered by health care and business professionals.

October 10

The pitch competition takes place in at the GuideWell Innovation CoRE in Orlando's Lake Nona Medical City.

Winners of the pitch competition will be awarded prizes of $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place, and $2,500 for third place.


The program is available thanks to contributions from USF Center for Entrepreneurship at the Muma College of Business, Florida Blue and the GuideWell Innovation CoRE.