Geekwire: TRAILS competition isn’t your typical startup pitch contest


In this digital age there’s no shortage of buzzy startup competitions, but as Geekwire’s James Thorne put it, “Cambia Grove’s TRAILS competition isn’t your typical startup pitch contest.”

In July, Carly Kiselycznyk of winning startup BrainChild began her 15-day hospital embedment with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Seattle Children’s Hospital and OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Kiselycznyk beat out her competition from around the country to receive the red-carpet treatment at children’s hospitals willing to give her feedback about how her solution can be implemented and have an impact in practice.  As Seattle Children’s Hospital Chief of Digital Innovation Wendy Sue Swanson put it, “this is the best prize out there.”

As we discovered, a lack of clarity on how and who to work with in the traditional health care sector is a large barrier to innovation and can be detrimental to startups looking to have an impact in the system. TRAILS aims to alleviate this by providing a framework for startups to collaborate with established health care entities and receive real-world feedback as the prize.

BrainChild’s prototype smart pacifier, which tracks infant neurodevelopment, is being put to the test alongside pediatric professionals in an industry setting. BrainChild has won numerous government grants to commercialize the product.  The feedback from the hospitals will give them an opportunity to make adjustments for real time clinical use.

Interested in entering the next TRAILS competition? Visit our TRAILS page and sign up for our weekly newsletter.

In the meantime, check out Geekwire’s past dispatches from TRAILS: What goes on inside the mind of a baby? This startup aims to track infant neurodevelopment (2019) Litesprite, maker of games that treat mental health, wins inaugural TRAILS healthcare competition (2018)