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Welcome to the digiSPARK Funding Program Portal!

The application period for the first official digiSPARK cohort opens on September 1, 2021 and closes September 30, 2021 at 11:59pm.

                                                                       About digiSPARK

digiSPARK is a new funding mechanism offered by CU Innovations. The goal of digiSPARK is to enable further use of digital health technology to improve both patient outcomes and health system operational efficiency through pilot study funding.

There are two main tracks within the digiSPARK program. The first track aims to enable PIs to commercialize their own digital health intellectual property (IP) through company creation or by licensing their IP to an existing company. The second track aims to enable PIs to partner with existing digital health solutions to solve problems that either they or their patients experience.                                   

                 

A digiSPARK grant includes:

  • Funding: Teams are awarded up to $100,000 total for no more than two years to work towards commercializing their IP or conducting studies with external companies. 
    • The source of this grant funding is from the OEDIT Advanced Industries Accelerator (AIA) Program. Companies and/or PIs are required to provide a minimum 1/3 match of the grant funding provided.
  • Mentorship: Teams receive support from the CU Innovations team and digital health entrepreneurs-in-residence that have either built digital health companies or licensed technology to digital health companies. 
  • Education and Resources: Teams will have access to the SPARK | REACH Education library and Startup Toolbox.

Expectations of digiSPARK PIs

digiSPARK PIs should expect to commit a minimum of 10 hours per month to commercial development or partnership activities. Additionally, it is expected they engage in the following activities:

  • Track 1 - Turn IP into a company
    • Work with the CU Innovations team to develop and meet commercially relevant milestones, 
    • Work with CU Innovations to develop and implement a trial testing the impact of the technology
    • Attend ad hoc meetings with advisors, service providers, industry providers, or investors, 
      • Provide quarterly updates to the CU Innovations team
      • Provide an annual report to the AIA on the use of funds and the progress of the venture
    • Track 1 -  License IP into a company
      • Work with CU Innovations team to find a licensing partner
      • Work with CU Innovations to develop and implement a trial testing the impact of the technology
      • Attend ad hoc meetings with advisors, service providers, industry providers, or investors, 
      • Provide quarterly updates to the CU Innovations team
      • Provide an annual report to the AIA on the use of funds and the progress of the venture
    • Track 2 - Use Digital Health to Solve a Problem
      • Work with CU Innovations team to find a solution that solves the problem you or your patients' experience
      • Work with CU Innovations to develop and implement a trial testing the impact of the technology
      • Attend ad hoc meetings with advisors
      • Provide quarterly updates to the CU Innovations team
      • Provide an annual report to the AIA on the use of funds and the progress of the venture

    Expected Outcomes 

    Projects exiting digiSPARK will be ready for: 

    • Licensing technology to an existing company 
    • Formation/acceleration of a startup
    • Receiving independent financing either through venture capital or non-federal funds
    • Furthering the use of digital health solutions at Anschutz

    Timeline

    • Applications Open: September 1st, 2021
    • Applications Close: September 30th, 2021
    • Applicants selected to advance to the second round will be notified in November 2021
    • Awardees are expected to be notified in early 2022. 

    For More Information 

    Interested applicants are encouraged to reach out to Gali Baler before or early in the application period to discuss eligibility, program requirements, and application preparation.