8th Annual Shark Tank Competition

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

Throw it to the sharks!

The Epilepsy Therapy Project, an initiative of the Epilepsy Foundation, is inviting entries that represent the most innovative new ideas in epilepsy treatment and care for its eighth annual Shark Tank Competition. The winner(s) of the 2019 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.

The deadline for submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI) is December 14, 2018. The Shark Tank review committee will select as many as six finalists. All finalists will be invited to present their product concepts or candidates at the 2019 Anti-Epileptic Drug & Device Trials , scheduled for May 22-24, 2019. 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

Submission Details

LOI Applications due Friday, December 14, 2018.

The proposal must include information about 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.

Address questions to sharktank@efa.org.

Instructions for a Letter of Intent

Please submit your LOI by Friday, December 14, 2018, 5:00 PM Eastern Time.

Proposal 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 half a page)
    1. Focus specifically on what your project would bring to people with epilepsy and when
  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. Brief description of intellectual property position and potential for commercialization: Investment potential and likelihood of ongoing funding support to reach patients (1 paragraph)
  8. Anticipated total budget and outline of what a prize of up to $200,000 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.
  • A confirmation email will be replied to within 24-48 hours upon receipt of your LOI submission. If you have not received confirmation, please call: 301.918.3726.


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. 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

As many as six (6) finalists will be selected to present at the 2019 Anti-Epileptic Drug & Device Trials (Miami, FL, May 22-24, 2019). 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 at the conclusion of the competition.