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Past Prize Winners

Thorne Prize for Social Innovation in Health or Education

Khushi Baby, Thorne Prize Winner, 2014
Khushi Baby focuses on tying tradition with technology to uplift community healthcare, especially reproductive and child health (RCH), for underserved populations in rural India. The vision involves scaling across India and building a digital integrated community health platform which covers all national programs. Recent News: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India has approved a budget of $13.6 million to scale up Khushi Baby’s Community Health Integrated Platform to all 72,000 community health workers in Rajasthan.

Spring, Thorne Prize Winner, 2016
Spring Health is an AI-enabled online mental health clinic for employee mental wellness. They have been featured on NBC News, Crain’s, Forbes & STAT. Recent News: The company became a unicorn (a privately held start-up valued at over $1 billion) in 2022 and is the subject of a case study appearing in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

BridgeYear, Thorne Prize Winner, 2017
BridgeYear delivers career exploration and support services to high school seniors. They provides "career test drives," pathway mapping, and traditional mapping to navigate community college to gain employment or transfer to four-year colleges. Recent News: In the 2020-2021 school year, BridgeYear adapted their in-person Fairs to socially distanced Career Test Drive® Kits for students to explore careers at home and in the classroom. Through online facilitation and pre-recorded curriculum, they reached over 3,000 youth nationwide.

EasyEC, Thorne Prize Winner, 2018
Easy EC is an award-winning tool to help young people access emergency contraception.

EdSightful , Thorne Prize Winner, 2019
Edsightful is an application that helps schools more effectively run their instructional coaching and teacher evaluation programs.

UrPharm/Pills2Me, Thorne Prize Winner, 2020
Urpharm aims to facilitate access to authentic drugs in sub-saharan Africa by providing a platform by which patients can easily locate these drugs, compare prices between pharmacies and purchase the drugs with just a few clicks.

Pills2Me partners with pharmacies to connect patients with volunteer drivers. Our goal is to promote public health and prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Recent news: Pills2Me recently participated in Techstars NYC where they received mentorship from industry leaders and an investment of $120,000.

Sprxng, Thorne Prize Winner, 2021
Sprxng is a reusable menstrual disc that provides menstrual pain relief. Their disc is designed for an easy insertion and a mess-free removal. Sprxng is on a mission to combat the stigma around menstruation and to improve the global menstrual experience. Recent News: Sprxng participated in the inaugural class of MIT Solve’s Solv[ed] Innovators in spring 2022.

The Educator Wellness Project, Thorne Prize Winner, 2022
The Educator Wellness Project supports well-being and retention of teachers through individualized wellness coaching, small group healing circles, and social-emotional learning resources. Recent news: They have increased their number of partnerships to 8 across 6 states, reaching 18 schools. They also recently received $500,000 from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Aetna Foundation Prize for Health Equity Innovation Winners

MyHealthEd, Aetna Prizer Winner, 2017
Mobile app known as Real Talk that uses stories written by teenagers to engage middle school students on topics surrounding sexual health. Recent news: Real Talk has reached over 25,000 users world wide with over 4,000 stories shared and more than 10,000 resources accessed.

Raise Green, Aetna Prizer Winner, 2018
Raise Green is a financial technology platform for community-driven project finance. We empower all individuals with the tools they need to create and invest directly into climate solution projects, like community solar. Recent News: Raise Green has raised $1.3 million USD to support their environmental work.

Seed Grant Winners

Better Care, Seed Grant Winner, 2016
Better Care aims to address implicit biases among physicians' as well as improving standards of care for patients prone to structural vulnerabilities such as food insecurity and housing instability via educational tools and reminders, which have been shown to have a positive impact on implicit bias.

Mindscope, Seed Grant Winner, 2016
MindScope is an app that improves doctor-patient communication about the "invisible" symptoms of patients with mental illnesses and brain diseases. This program is designed by patients, used by both doctors and patients as a diagnosis and treatment tool, and improves patient quality of life. The MindScope team is from Wesleyan University.

MyHealthEd, Seed Grant Winner, 2016
Real Talk from MyHealthEd is a mobile app that uses daily stories instead of traditional health messages to help middle school students learn about sexual health topics. All of the daily stories are written from four different perspectives and are presented as text message conversations. Recent news: Real Talk has reached over 25,000 users world wide with over 4,000 stories shared and more than 10,000 resources accessed.

RxAll, Seed Grant Winner, 2016
RxAll is an online marketplace platform for pharmacies in Africa that enables them to buy authentic healthcare products directly from verified and licensed pharma manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers.

Be Art, Seed Grant Winner, 2016
Be Art provides after-school programming to create safe spaces for open dialogue and skill-building around self-care in social and emotional wellness. It teaches mindfulness and creative self-expression to young women in underserved communities.

Easy EC, Seed Grant Winner, 2017
Easy EC is an award-winning tool to help young people access emergency contraception.

RAMP Seed Grant Winner, 2017
RAMP (Resource Access Mapping Project) is a group working to create a multilingual mobile app that maps out the healthcare and social services, community programs, and public resources in the Greater New Haven area in order to alleviate barriers to access by presenting those services and resources in an accessible and accurate way.

YouCOMM, Aetna Foundation Prize for Health Equity Innovation non-Yale Seed Stage Award Winner, 2017
YouCOMM is an app designed for a smart device that enables the user to indicate their specific needs to caregiving staff, thus promoting efficiency and enhancing quality of care, designed specifically for hospitals, nursing homes and/ or outpatient care facilities. YouCOMM is a project from the University of Connecticut.

Bridging the Gap, Aetna Foundation Prize for Health Equity Innovation non-Yale Seed Stage Award Winner, 2017
Bridging the Gap provides low-income populations with accessible screenings for high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular risk factors, and then offers culturally sensitive patient education as well as assistance navigating the healthcare system and accessing providers. This is a project of the University of Bridgeport.

Brio, Seed Grant Winner, 2018
Brio was founded in 2018 to develop an effective mental health design process to bring scalable services and training to vulnerable communities internationally. They provide local partners with human-centered design services and consultation, empowering them to build programs and interventions sustainably and strategically. Recent news: They recently participated in the facilitation of the Wellbeing Summit in Spain. The focus was on the collective commitment to mental health and featured 1000 delegates, 201 artists, 61 speakers, and many more people from 80 countries.

WISSP (Widely Integrated Social Services Platform), Seed Grant Winner, 2018
WISSP is a service aimed to reduce evictions and homelessness for tenants, eviction-associated costs for landlords, and care burdens for social service providers, in New Haven, Connecticut. The goal of the platform is to develop an accurate metric to assess individual level housing vulnerability using input data from United Way’s 211 service, the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), Coordinated Access Network (CAN) provider intake, internal platform surveys, and citywide markers of socioeconomic status, and to use that metric to improve housing outcomes.

Cocoa360, Seed Grant Winner, 2019
Cocoa360 is pioneering a new model of development that leverages existing community resources to improve access to education and healthcare for rural cocoa farming communities. Our Tarkwa Breman Center of Excellence (TBCE) – a girls’ school, clinic, and community library – is situated in Tarkwa Breman, a cocoa farming community in the Western Ghana. In exchange for tuition-free education and subsidized healthcare services, community members work on a community-run cocoa farm. Recent news: The Cocoa360 team and community recently celebrated the delivery of their 98th child at the Tarkwa Center of Excellence.

BambooAbility, Seed Grant Winner, 2019
BambooAbility sees the development and design for manufacture of low-cost, durable, sustainable, purpose-built personal mobility equipment in order to support wheelchair users and others with mobility impairment in low-resource and tropical settings.

4Beez, Seed Grant Winner, 2019
4 Beez International's vision is to build a viable and sustainable Haiti for Haitians, by Haitians.

Agricore, Rita Wilson Seed Grant Winner, 2019
There is a rift between environmental scientists and ranchers, farmers, and land managers when it comes to soil analysis due to a lack of simple, scalable, and affordable soil-sampling and soil-testing methods. In-field carbon content light spectrometry could solve this problem; our company is making use of this technology possible.

Agora, Rita Wilson Seed Grant Winner, 2019
Agora Good Life, Inc. is an app connecting university students with wellness events, so they live their best lives. Agora aggregates and provides diverse, personalized wellness recommendations using a growth-mindset algorithm.

Fresh Air Wrist Band, Rita Wilson Seed Grant Winner, 2019
FreshAir wristband is a wearable tool for assessing personal exposure to environmental chemicals.

Enlighten, Rita Wilson Seed Grant Winner, 2019
EnlighteN Naloxone Sensory Injector is a medical device start-up working to detect and reverse opioid overdose events. EnlighteN has received funding from National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA) to propel their work. Recent News: EnlighteN was selected as one of twelve teams developing solutions that use advanced technology to address pressing societal needs in education, public health, environment, and peace and human rights as a part of the Verizon’s and the Clinton Global Health Initiative’s Forward for Good challenge.

CtrlTrial , Rita Wilson Seed Grant Winner, 2020 Patient recruitment for clinical trials is a problem with African American and Hispanic patients in particular having been historically underrepresented. CtrlTrial is an AI-powered tool to help physicians identify patients for clinical trials to solve inequitable under-recruitment of patients to clinical trials within their catchment area.

Elevation Med Prep Rita Wilson Seed Grant Winner, 2020 Lack of racial, socioeconomic, and geographic diversity in medicine is a rate-limiting factor in efforts to eliminate health care disparities. Elevation Med Prep offers medical school admissions consulting services and envisions a day when socioeconomic barriers, social connections, and access to information are no longer contributing factors to medical school acceptance.

Sprxng, Rita Wilson Seed Grant Winner, 2020 Sprxng is the first, reusable menstrual product that includes a treatment for menstrual pains. The product was engineered with menstruators in humanitarian settings such as refugee camps, menstruators in rural settings, and menstruators with disabilities in mind. Recent News: Sprxng participated in the inaugural class of MIT Solve’s Solv[ed] Innovators in spring 2022.

Let's Diversifi , Rita Wilson Seed Grant Winner, 2020 DiversifiMedEd is a web-based platform where students who self-identify as historically underrepresented in medicine can connect with medical schools, residency programs, and fellowships across the country. Applicants can interface with trainees of color, and program leadership through multiple live sessions to gain insight into the inclusivity of the learning environment prior to the decision to apply. Recent news: In 2021, they expanded their platform offerings to include even more healthcare professions and project based activities.

Origin Healthcare Rita Wilson Seed Grant Winner, 2020 Origin Healthcare provides high touch, acute hospital level care in the home, through a combination of daily in-person and Telehealth visits from an expert medical team, empowering patients by providing them a choice to meet their acute hospital level healthcare needs.

The Bandana Project Rita Wilson Seed Grant Winner, 2020 The Bandana Project is a grassroots mental health awareness and suicide prevention campaign aimed at reducing the stigmas of mental illnesses and seeking care on college campuses -giving folks the tools to support themselves and others - and more.

Health News Around the World , Seed Grant Winner, 2021
Health News Around the World is a weekly health newsletter designed to combat health information online.

Host Health, Seed Grant Winner, 2021
Host Health is focused on designing an innovative solution to tackle the disparities in migrant health education in the US.

Mobile Memory , Seed Grant Winner, 2021
Mobile Memory is committed to developing an AI/ML algorithm to analyze speech patterns and assess an individual’s likelihood for onset of dementia in the future.

Nebula Care , Seed Grant Winner, 2021
Nebula Care is focused on providing personalized mental healthcare for diverse communities with a focus on multilingual and multicultural services.

RDonCall, Seed Grant Winner, 2021
RDonCall is an integrated telehealth-management platform designed to empower people with chronic disease to live up to their full potential and eliminate health disparity by offering affordable and people-centered healthcare management.

Rita Wilson Prize Fund in Support of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

KovaDx , Rita Wilson Prize Winner, 2020
KovaDx is making the diagnosis and monitoring of sickle cell disease patients faster, easier to perform, and more affordable. Recent news: KovaDX was awarded $256,000 as a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Mindful Kala, Rita Wilson Prize Winner, 2021
Mindful Kala aims to help elevate mental and social well-being by utilizing Indian Classical Dance to explore mind-body movements and cultivate intercultural relationships. Recent news: Mindful Kala partnered with Connecticut’s Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS) to help increase accessibility to mindfulness services for Ukrainian refugee children once they begin to arrive in the United States.

Adiona, Rita Wilson Prize Winner, 2022
Adiona uses novel analytics to predict the onset of key dementia symptoms from consumer-grade, wearable sensors.