EVF: Accelerators Course


EVF accelerator course graphic with icons


Check back in early 2023 for more information on the Accelerator Course!

The Epilepsy Foundation, in partnership with the Danny Did Foundation, are pleased to bring back our annual accelerator course. This six-week virtual course is designed for startup companies focused on improving the lives of people living with epilepsy. Each week for six weeks beginning this fall, the Epilepsy Foundation will bring in featured experts in epilepsy and successful entrepreneurs. Each expert will provide participants selected for the program with multiple perspectives and considerations to commercialize a venture.

Deep dives into topics during the course may include:

  • Market strategy / Describing vision and mission
  • Regulatory strategy and IP considerations
  • Case studies from successful entrepreneurs in epilepsy
  • Finding funding partners / Building the advisory board
  • Perfecting the pitch

The goal of the course is to assess and enhance the business plan of your product, improve your pitch, and learn from guest speakers. Each part of the course aims to help your business improve its impact in the epilepsy space. From investment to start-up, each session provides insights that accelerate the growth of your company.

At the end of course, each team will pitch their venture to the Epilepsy Ventures Fund (EVF). The EVF is a new fund from the Epilepsy Foundation that aims to accelerate new therapies and treatments for people living with epilepsy in a timeframe that matters. The Epilepsy Ventures Fund representatives will consider an investment of up to $500,000 in one or more promising ventures.

To be eligible to apply for the course, you must:

  • Be developing a device, technology, or digital health tool designed for people with epilepsy.
  • Apply as a business entity. No university-based applications will be considered. A university may partner with an existing company through licensing to commercialize the venture, but the company must be the applicant.
  • Must demonstrate in the application an ability to move the proposed plan to completion, showing how an investment can accelerate a step along the path to market.
  • Applicants must submit a model/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).
  • Entrepreneurs who have previously received Epilepsy Foundation funding through Shark Tank Competitions or New Therapy Commercialization Grants are encouraged to re-submit their ideas if substantial progress has been made.
  • Applicants may reside in any country so long as they are committed to attending all lectures.

Examples of ventures considered for the course:

  • 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

Still have questions about the course for startups? Please reach out to us at grants@efa.org

"We are honored to have participated in Danny Did Foundation/EVF accelerator course. Through this course, we have been able to continue to grow our business and learn more about epilepsy patients and their unmet needs. We were also able to make connections with other fascinating startups and founders in the epilepsy space and learn from their experiences. We really enjoyed our time in the course and learned a lot from it." – Jay Shah, Neurava

"The accelerate course was a unique opportunity to learn from experts and entrepreneurs how to communicate, how to forward opportunities that change the life of patients living with epilepsy. – Henrik Kliitgard, NEUmiRNA"

"The accelerator program helped us to tell the company story stronger in the eyes of the patient, clinician and advocacy groups. It made us rethink what we are doing, and how to drive to the market, and which products to drive to the market. You never get enough chances to pitch, especially to a friendly audience of people directly involved in epilepsy whether as a patient or caregiver, with amazing feedback. Being able to step back, and having us rethink how to bring the right products to market with the right story was priceless." – Todd Wallach, Cognizance Biomarkers

About This Partnership

This course is a collaboration of the Epilepsy Foundation of America and the Danny Did Foundation. These partners share the goal to advance new treatments and resources for people with epilepsy as quickly as possible. A growing ecosystem is critical for the epilepsy technology space. The expertise and networking from this course is intended to advance startup companies who are poised to make a positive impact for people and families who cope with seizures. Learn more about how the Danny Did Foundation advances public awareness of epilepsy and Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP).


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