2021 Epilepsy Foundation Shark Tank Competition! - LOIs due FEBRUARY 1, 2021

Do you have an innovative idea to help people with epilepsy and seizures?

Throw it to the sharks!

The Epilepsy Foundation is inviting submissions representing the most innovative new ideas in epilepsy treatment and care for its annual Shark Tank Competition. This year, we have two submission categories.

Shark Tank Investment Prize -The Epilepsy Foundation will invest up to $250,000 in a promising new product, technology or therapy to help people with epilepsy. Applicants must have a prototype of their product and company association to be eligible for this Prize. In return for the investment by the Epilepsy Foundation’s Epilepsy Venture Fund, the Epilepsy Foundation expects to participate in any ROI generated by the product in a percentage relative to the percentage of the overall project the investment represents. This will be determined at the time of the LOI review and communicated to the participant prior to the submission of the final product.

Shark Tank Community Impact Award - The Epilepsy Foundation will award $25,000 to an important product or technology to help people with epilepsy that is not on a commercialization pathway. Unlike the investment prize, applicants that are not associated with companies may apply as long as they have a prototype of their product. Examples of past community funded projects include the seizure and fall detection app, Seizario and the Kenyan epilepsy awareness project, M-Kifafa (now known as Fafanuka).

The deadline for submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI) is February 1, 2021.  The Shark Tank review committee will select as many as six finalists.  All finalists will be asked to submit a more detailed description of their product subject to additional review and will be invited to present their product concepts or candidates at the AEDD XVI (Antiepileptic Drug and Device) Trials Meeting, June 16-18, 2021, in Blue Bell, PA.

The winning entry (or entries) for the Investment Prize will be selected by a panel of judges (Sharks) representing physicians and scientists, corporate executives, leading industry investors, people with epilepsy, and advocates. The project(s) deemed to be the most innovative will be announced at the conference, and the winner(s) can receive as much as $250,000 to accelerate the idea towards improving the quality of life of people with epilepsy. 

The Community Impact Award will be selected by live voting by conference attendees. All finalists are eligible for a travel stipend to attend the conference and free conference registration.

Investment Prize Examples: 

  • a drug or device treatment that stops a seizure (especially those already developed or approved for a different indication)
  • a system that helps patients manage their treatment or their epilepsy (less invasive, less costly anti-epileptic drug measurement, for example)
  • any other concept that could improve the lives of people with epilepsy potentially in the near future

Community Award Examples: 

  • A project to raise awareness for people with epilepsy through an education platform
  • a device that prevents personal injury from a seizure
  • any other concept that could improve the lives of people with epilepsy potentially in the near future

Submission Details:

LOI Applications due February 1, 2021

The proposal must include information about the prototype, intellectual property, and a brief development outline with milestones for deliverables. Explain the potential impact on people with epilepsy in terms of the creativity/ingenuity of the concept, as well as significance of this concept as an advancement for people with epilepsy.

Eligibility for Investment Prize:

  • Applicants must demonstrate an ability to move the proposed plan to completion, showing how the prize can accelerate any step along the path to market
  • Applicants must be ready to present a prototype of proposed project (must include demonstration of some form of materialization - i.e. early sample, model or release of a product built for testing).
  • Inventors who submitted ideas for previous Shark Tank Competitions are encouraged to re-submit their ideas if substantial progress has been made.
  • Applicants must be associated with a company (whether they started their own or partnering with an existing company to commercialize the venture)
  • Applicants may reside in any country. No specific background or experience is required.

Eligibility for Community Impact Award: 

  • Applicants must demonstrate an ability to move the proposed plan to completion, showing how the prize can accelerate any step along the path to getting the product to the epilepsy community
  • Applicants must be ready to present a prototype of proposed project (must include demonstration of some form of materialization - i.e. early sample, model or release of a product built for testing).
  • Inventors who submitted ideas for previous Shark Tank Competitions are encouraged to re-submit their ideas if substantial progress has been made.
  • Applicants may reside in any country. No specific background or experience is required.

Instructions for an Investment Prize Letter of Intent

Please submit your LOI by February 1, 2021, 5:00 PM Eastern Time

LOI Content and Layout

  1. Title of proposed project (maximum 50 characters)
  2. Leader (name, title, affiliation, address, telephone, email address)
  3. Key collaborators (names, titles, affiliations)
  4. Brief summary of project goals and plans/approaches (not to exceed ½ page
    1. Focus specifically on what your project would bring to people with epilepsy and when
    2. Describe prototype of proposed concept
  5. Brief description of what is unique about the project. If it is competitive to any existing product or service, please describe how your project compares to any competitor (1 paragraph)
  6. Detailed description of how you plan to accomplish the overall plan (1 page)
    1. Estimated steps/milestones/timeline to reach patients
    2. Go/No Go decision points
  7. You must briefly provide a description of intellectual property position and potential for commercialization: Investment potential and likelihood of ongoing funding support to reach patients (1 paragraph)
  8. Outline anticipated total budget and an outline of what a prize of up to $250,000 will allow you to accomplish

Proposal Submission 

  • Must not exceed 4 pages, inclusive of all information listed above, Minimum 10-point font
  • Convert LOI document to a PDF and send to sharktank@efa.orgIn your subject line, list the program you are applying for (Investment Prize or Community Impact Award).
  • A confirmation email will be replied to within 24-48 hours upon receipt of your LOI submission.

Instructions for a Community Impact Letter of Intent

Please submit your LOI by February 1, 2021, 5:00 PM Eastern Time

LOI Content and Layout

  1. Title of proposed project (maximum 50 characters)
  2. Leader (name, title, affiliation, address, telephone, email address)
  3. Key collaborators (names, titles, affiliations)
  4. Brief summary of project goals and plans/approaches (not to exceed ½ page
    1. Focus specifically on what your project would bring to people with epilepsy and when
    2. Describe prototype of proposed concept.
  5. Brief description of what is unique about the project. If it is competitive to any existing product or service, please describe how your project compares to any competitor (1 paragraph)
  6. Detailed description of how you plan to accomplish the overall plan (1 page)
    1. Estimated steps/milestones/timeline to reach patients
    2. Go/No Go decision points
  7. You must briefly provide a description of how your product will reach the epilepsy community (1 paragraph)
  8. Outline what your prize of $25,000 will allow you to accomplish. 

Proposal Submission 

  • Must not exceed 4 pages, inclusive of all information listed above, Minimum 10-point font
  • Convert LOI document to a PDF and send to sharktank@efa.org. In your subject line, list the program you are applying for (Investment Prize or Community Impact Award).
  • A confirmation email will be replied to within 24-48 hours upon receipt of your LOI submission.

Review

Proposals will be scored based on the following criteria:

  1. Potential benefit and appeal to people with epilepsy and their families
  2. Likelihood of Development: investment potential and consideration of ongoing funding support
  3. (Investment prize only) Intellectual Property Strategy and Status: Freedom to operate
  4. Operability of proposed prototype
  5. Timeframe and probability of success
  6. Fit with program mission
  7. Overall Impression

Selected Proposals/Finalists:

As many as eight (8) finalists will be selected to present at the AEDD XVI (Antiepileptic Drug and Device) Trials Meeting, June 16-18, 2021 in Blue Bell, PA. Each presenter will have 5 minutes to present the concept, followed by 5 minutes of questioning. The "Shark Tank" event will feature live voting among audience members and a panel of judges (Sharks) representative of industry, advocacy, investors, and the research and medical communities. The winning project, or projects, deemed to be the most innovative will be announced on-site at the conclusion of the competition

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am not sure if I am eligible, who do I contact?

A: Please email sharktank@efa.org with your question and we will be happy to assist.  

Q: Where do I go to apply? 

A: Please email your cover letter and LOI to sharktank@efa.org. In your subject line, list the program you are applying for (Investment Prize or Community Impact Award). 

Q: What is the maximum amount the Epilepsy Foundation provides for the Shark Tank Investment Prize?

A:  The Epilepsy Foundation may invest up to $250,000.

Q: What is the maximum amount the Epilepsy Foundation provides for the Shark Tank Community Impact Award?

A:  Community Impact applicants can apply for up to $25,000

Q: I have a great idea on how to transform epilepsy but don’t have a prototype of my product. Can I still apply?

A:  No. The Investment Prize and Community Impact Award selection process is only geared towards development of a product that already has a prototype associated with it. 

Q: Can this application come from a public private partnership?

A:  Yes. We encourage matching funding sources from academic and commercial entities to support the commercialization of novel approaches to the treatment of epilepsy. Preference will be given to proposals that already have a commercial partner engaged to assist with development, and to proposals that have committed or matched funding from a sponsoring institution, commercial partner or other third party source. If another entity, such as a pharmaceutical company, is providing partial funding support or in-kind contribution to the study (such as study drug and/or placebo), please provide a letter of support detailing the agreed-upon funding or resources provided in the application. 

Q: Do you accept international applications?

A: Yes. We welcome a broad span of applications from anywhere in the world.

Q: Do I need to include a cover letter?

A: You do not need to include a cover letter. Any materials in addition to the LOI will not be reviewed.

Q: What does an investment agreement look like?

A: Below is a link to an example of a template agreement. The agreement is subject to change depending on the LOI review. .If there are additional questions regarding the funding arrangement, we are always happy to discuss any concerns or issues that you might have. Our primary goal is to be supportive of the winner and assist in getting a successful product to market!

file type iconEpilepsy Foundation Template Letter Agreement for Company Awards under $1mm (9.6.18).pdf

Choose the link above for a template grant agreement for a company.

 

Authored By: 
Epilepsy Foundation Research
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Authored Date: 
12/2021