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The Rita Wilson Prize Fund in support of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Rita Wilson Prize Fund in support of Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a $10,000 cash prize awarded to the best student-led venture focused on creating a technological solution to address a health disparity in the United States.
The Wilson Prize was created in 2019 with a generous gift to the Yale School of Public Health. The gift is managed by InnovateHealth Yale based at the Yale School of Public Health.
The Wilson Prize is awarded at Startup Yale. The Startup Yale competition provides participants with constructive feedback from experienced professionals, mentorship from relevant experts, and chances to meet venture capital investors and industry leaders.

Judges will evaluate applications based on the following criteria:

  • Opportunity: The problem the venture/organization/idea seeks to address is clearly defined, and there is evidence that there is a target population who considers it important.
  • Viability: The team has developed a clear solution to the problem, has a realistic path for getting the solution to the end user, and can continue to deliver the solution in a way that is financially and operationally sustainable. In short, the idea seems like it could work.
  • Innovation: The idea is truly innovative. It presents a new model, product or service that fills a unique gap and/or applies an existing model to a new context.
  • Team: The team has the knowledge, skills, passion, energy and ability to execute.
  • Catalytic-ness: The prize will be meaningful in driving the team/project forward in ways that may otherwise not have been possible as quickly or at all.
  • Impact: The venture contributes to the creation of a technological solution to address a health disparity in the United States.

Timeline

The Startup Yale prize application will be open during the spring 2023 semester. Please visit the Startup Yale website

to apply.

Past Recipients

To learn more please review the FAQ below and Schedule office hours with Fatema Basrai, Director of Innovation.

FAQs

What types of ventures are applicable for this prize?
Any student-led venture which addresses a health or education challenge that disproportionately impacts low-income communities in the United States or low-resource countries. The ventures can be for-profit or non-profit ventures.
What regions should ventures be serving?
Ventures should be focused on low-income communities in the United States or low-resource countries.
How can I best prepare my application and receive feedback?
Schedule office hours with Fatema Basrai, Director of Innovation.