Shark Tank Competition

Update: Event Postponed

Out of an abundance of caution for public health and safety, the Epilepsy Foundation is postponing the 2020 Pipeline Conference, Shark Tank, and Community Day, previously scheduled for March 12-14 in Santa Clara, California. These three days gather together hundreds of international epilepsy experts, innovators, and families. As a health-focused organization, we made this difficult decision in light of the many unknowns about the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation in the conference region itself and around the globe.

We understand the disappointment and difficulties this may cause. Our considerations while reaching this decision include confirmed community spread in Santa Clara County and the number of international attendees, some of whom have needed to cancel.

We wanted to get this news out as soon as possible to allow enough time for changes to travel plans. Our intent is to reimburse all registration fees by March 31. We encourage everyone to contact their airlines. Many airlines are adjusting their policies and fees now. Talk to your travel desk about reimbursement. If you have any questions, please email

Plans are already underway for how these meetings will be rescheduled. Our goal is to host them later this year.

Continue checking this webpage, as well as our social media and e-newsletter for updates. 

Thank you for your understanding and support. We’ll be in touch again soon.

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

Throw it to the sharks!

2020 Shark Tank Competition Finalists

  • Aditya Kadambi from Mocxa for their automated privacy enhancement for seizure videos
  • Atilla Borbath from Synergia Medical for their NAO-VNS product
  • Boris Goldstein PhD from Brain Scientific for his graphene electrodes in under the skin EEG implants
  • Jong Woo Lee MD along with Product Architectures for their night-time SUDEP prevention device
  • Keely McCarthy, parent of a child living with epilepsy, for her emergency epilepsy band

2020 Epilepsy Foundation Shark Tank Competition!

The Epilepsy Therapy Project, an initiative of the Epilepsy Foundation, invited entries that represent the most innovative new ideas in epilepsy treatment and care for its annual Shark Tank Competition. The winner(s) of the 2020 Shark Tank Competition will receive international recognition and compete for awards totaling up to $200,000 to support the development and commercialization of an important new product, technology, or therapeutic concept to help people with epilepsy.

Finalists will be invited to present their product concepts or candidates at the 2020 Epilepsy Pipeline Conference. The winning entry (or entries) will be selected through live voting by conference attendees and 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 $200,000 to accelerate the idea towards improving the quality of life of people with epilepsy. All finalists are eligible for a travel stipend to attend the conference and free conference registration.

Examples of Novel Concepts

  • Drug or device treatment that stops a seizure, especially those already developed or approved for a different indication
  • System that helps patients manage their treatment or their epilepsy (less invasive, less costly anti-epileptic drug measurement, for example)
  • 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


Shark Tank submissions were 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. Intellectual Property Strategy and Status: Freedom to operate
  4. Timeframe and probability of success
  5. Fit with program mission
  6. Overall Impression

Selected Proposals/Finalists

Finalists will present at the 2020 Epilepsy Pipeline Conference. Each finalist 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 at the conclusion of the competition.


Q: What does a Shark Tank funding agreement look like?

A: Please see the document below for a template grant agreement for a company applicant. 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 awardee and assist in getting a successful product to market!


Q: What is the selection criteria?

A: We selected our finalists based on the uniqueness of the solution proposed, the potential for transformative impact, and the likelihood that the solution could get to market in a timeframe that matters.

Q: If selected as a finalist, what should I expect?

A: After we select our five finalists, we provide pitch coaching sessions prior to the big event. Please click here to view an example shark tank event to see what the actual event looks like.

Authored By: 
Epilepsy Foundation Research
Authored Date: