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Urban Health Accelerator


photo of the Philadelphia skyline at night

Congratulations to the Winners!


1st Place – Terry Gao from Philly Shares!

Photo of Terry Gao, Philly Shares

2nd Place – Tommy Caison from North Philly Peace Park

photo of Tommy Caison, North Philly Peace Park

3rd Place – Andrew Kucer and Amy Lackpour from Students Run Philly Style

photo of Andy Kucer, Student Run Philly Style

The Problem

Many factors or social determinants of health, contribute to these differences. Access to affordable, quality housing and healthy foods, quality education, public transportation, green spaces and the opportunity for well-paying jobs are just a few examples.

The Opportunity

Even though there are many challenges in urban communities, there are also plenty of opportunities. Identify a problem that effects the health of the North, West and/or Southwest regions of Philadelphia. Solutions are wide and diverse. Consider the following:

Photo of friends preparing a meal in a kitchen
Healthy Food Access
Photo of an African-American mother and her two children washing their hands in the kitchen
Clean Water Tech
Photo of parked bicycles
Photo of home voice assistant with graphics representing uses
Mobile and Voice Tech
Photo of a diverse group of young people planing and working on a white board
Urban Planning
Photo of affordable urban housing units
Affordable Housing
Photo of a doctor sitting with a child patient and his parents.
Healthcare Access
Photo of a young girl working on a robotic project in a STEM class
STEM | Afterschool
Photo of two workers in a factory looking at a tablet
Workforce Training

Qualifying candidates/organizations will participate in a 4-week accelerator experience that focuses on customer discovery, marketing, financing and brand message storytelling.

Finalists will present their projects to a panel of judges at the Social Determinants of Health Conference on September 24th at Temple University. The top three organizations will have an opportunity to receive either:

 A $30,000 grant for 1st place
 A $20,000 grant for 2nd place
 A $10,000 grant for 3rd place

Yes It’s Possible… and here’s a story of an 11 year old that made the impossible possible!

Gitanjali Rao was upset about the water crisis devastating families in Flint, Michigan. She had an idea that could help quickly and accurately monitor water for lead. With no money, sponsors or even a space, Gitanjali pushed forward. After being turned away by everyone and every lab and school in her area, she converted her small bedroom into a ‘science room, where she developed an affordable device that quickly and accurately detects lead in water. She’s been named by 3M, the leading global science company, as America’s Top Young Scientist.

– Gitanjali is 11 years old.

See other inspirational stories.