Pitch Day: Discovering Innovative Ideas from Diverse Sources

This fall, RWJF held its first ever Pitch Day event with the goal of discovering visionary ideas from a variety of thinkers. Eight finalists shared their ideas that day, but we're always looking for ideas to transform health and health care. Share your idea by submitting a brief proposal.

[VIDEO] #PioneerPitch Day: Discovering innovative ideas from diverse sources


Pioneer looks for innovative ideas with programs like Pitch Day and by accepting unsolicited proposals throughout the year.

The Path to Pitch Day

At Pioneer, we’re always looking for ideas with the potential to transform health and health care. In August 2013, we tried something a little different: We asked people to share their ideas, but to limit their proposals to 1,000 characters or less. More than 500 people rose to the challenge, submitting their ideas over a three-week period. Eight finalists were invited to pitch their ideas live and in person to an esteemed panel of judges, including angel investor Esther Dyson and Rhode Island School of Design President John Maeda. Thomas Goetz, RWJF entrepreneur-in-residence and former executive editor of Wired, emceed the event on October 16 at AppNexus' New York City headquarters.

Pitch Day Judges, Staff, and Emcee

Emcee Thomas Goetz and Pioneer Pitch Day judges Lori Melichar, John Lumpkin, Paul Tarini, Mike Painter, Nancy Barrand, Shankar Vedantam, Ben Sawyer, Fred Mann, Rodrigo Martinez, Esther Dyson, Ben Heywood, John Maeda and Steve Downs. Deborah Bae and Ben Schiller not pictured.

In the end, three presentations rose to the top and were invited to submit a full proposal for potential funding. Congratulations to the Pitch Day winners!

Pitch Day was also a great opportunity to meet new people and build our community of innovators. Read about our experience on the Pioneering Ideas blog.

Pitch Day Judges

Learn About the Finalists

Read our interviews with the eight finalists to learn about their ideas.

Funding Disruptive Innovation

RWJF's Pioneer Portfolio is dedicated to funding disruptive innovations with the power to transform health and health care. We're not looking for incremental improvements - we're looking for original solutions to entrenched problems that could dramatically improve Americans' lives. Watch this video to learn more about how team members find new ideas for the Pioneer Portfolio, read more about Pioneer's funding strategy, and check out our blog, Pioneering Ideas.

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Share Your Idea

Submit a Proposal
Submit a Proposal