TGH Ventures and Synapse Florida Announce Finalists of 2024 TGH Innovation Challenge

Published: Feb 23, 2024

Four finalists will present at the annual Synapse Summit in Tampa where the top submission will receive an award valued at $50,000.


Tampa, FL (Feb. 23, 2024) – Tampa General Hospital (TGH), the TGH Cancer Institute and Synapse Florida, a nonprofit that connects the state’s diverse innovation ecosystem in driving economic growth and social impact, today announced the top four finalists of the TGH Innovation Challenge.

The competition, which launched in November 2023, calls for new and innovative solutions to provide potentially lifesaving care and reduce cancer mortality in rural areas.

“The TGH Challenge represents a true disruption in the status quo of health care delivery, allowing us to accelerate the rate of change and discovery,” said John Couris, president and CEO of Tampa General. “By incentivizing entrepreneurs and rewarding innovation, we are taking a page out of the playbook of other industries and establishing a gamifying initiative to help solve some of our most significant health care challenges.”

This year’s finalists are:

Tappt® Health – Offers remote medication monitoring for patients with medically complex and chronic conditions to ensure adherence.

Reimagine Care – A virtual platform that uses an AI-enabled digital assistant to connect patients to clinical care 24/7 from the comfort of their home.

Gabbi In­­c. – A virtual platform that assesses a woman’s risk of breast cancer in minutes, equips her with a personalized care plan and orders all screening and tests via Telehealth.

Aayu + Box – A monthly subscription service that provides an array of diagnostic tools, multilingual information pamphlets and QR code referrals for early screening detection and education.

“Cancer care can be one of the most difficult challenges in anyone’s life, especially for those with limited access to early detection, care and treatment,” said Dr. Eduardo Sotomayor, vice president and executive director, TGH Cancer Institute. “By collaborating with innovators, experts and critical thinkers from around the world, we are finding creative ways to enhance care navigation, improve treatments and detect diseases earlier.”

The finalists will have an opportunity to present and the winner of the TGH Innovation Challenge will be announced at the Synapse Summit on Wednesday, Feb. 28. The winner receives a prize valued at $50,000 from TGH to support a potential partnership or pilot project with the winning solution in collaboration with TGH Ventures and the TGH Cancer Institute. Support may include IT resources, project management, subject matter expertise and other areas that would bring the effort to fruition.

“From reducing language barriers, to virtual care platforms, to a monthly subscription care service, we were thrilled to receive such a variety of potential solutions for the challenges we face in providing access to world-class care to rural communities in need,” said Rachel Feinman, Tampa General’s vice president of Innovation and managing director of TGH Ventures, Tampa General’s venture capital arm and innovation team. “We are grateful for our partnership with Synapse Florida, a true champion in innovation. Through this innovation challenge we are helping to change the trajectory of how care is delivered in the future.”      

The competition received 75 applications from established companies, universities, startups, physicians, researchers, caregivers and patients from around the world.

“Projects like the TGH Innovation Challenge are a model for how world-class industry leaders can open pathways for new partnerships, collaboration and impact,” said Lauren Prager, CEO of Synapse Florida. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with Tampa General Hospital to support new and innovative ways to drive economic growth and social impact through the state.”

TGH Ventures serves as TGH’s corporate venture capital arm and innovation team. It identifies, partners and invests in emerging health care companies that are redefining the care experience for clinicians and patients. The goal is to support entrepreneurs, financially and strategically, who want to solve problems and enhance the lives of patients today.