TRAILS Competition

TRAILS Competition

The TRAILS Competition has been designed to provide promising startups access to real-world testing and application. The winner will gain a better understanding of how their product can be implemented to improve the health care system.

2020 TRAILS Competition Challenge:

Seeking solutions that improve care of seriously ill people and their families.

The Prize:

The winner will participate in an individual and personalized, three-month accelerator program with Banister Advisors to optimize the product, its cultural appropriateness and business strategy in addition to making connections to the 5 Points of Health Care™.

Applicant Eligibility: 

  • Investable Startup Company
  • Company or product has not won the TRAILS Competition in the last three years
  • Solution relevant to the U.S. health care market
  • Product/Service should be at least a minimum viable product and/or a prototype in its development

Thank you to everyone that applied!

The time has come to announce our five finalists *drum roll please*


Register today for the finale, November 10 to hear each of these teams pitch for the trophy and prize!

Want to learn more about palliative care? Check out this Palliative Care Resource Toolkit that the Cambia Grove team has aggregated. This list is not exhaustive but a good introduction to articles, reports, videos, etc. surrounding palliative care. 


What is the prize? The primary objective of the 2021 TRAILS Startup Accelerator is for the Prize Partner to deliver direct professional mentorship, through a structured business plan improvement process, in order to help the winning TRAILS team optimize their palliative care solution through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). 

The winning team will collaborate with Banister Advisors, LLC for 3 months to refine the business case for their solution, with an explicit focus on addressing historical inequities and systemic barriers to inclusive and culturally competent palliative care.  Insights to inform the enhanced business case will be developed through the winning team conducting direct stakeholder interviews with guidance and support from Banister. 

Sub-goals in support of this primary objective include: 

  1. Enhanced healthcare-focused DEI capacity for lead members of the winning team. 
  2. Refined understanding and appreciation for the historical context of institutionalized racism that has led a diverse range of patients and families to distrust and eschew palliative care solutions that are currently offered within the larger health care system. 
  3. Increased likelihood of solution development, launch, and continued operational success among a diverse group of stakeholders, representing different US communities and system roles (i.e. patient, provider, caregivers, etc.)

What is Banister Advisors, LLC? Banister Advisors, LLC, is a Pacific NW-based professional services firm that helps clients navigate overwhelming life circumstances.  Banister's teams of credentialed healthcare professionals are focused on helping individuals and families who are facing health crisis, complex eldercare, end-of-life, and bereavement-related concerns with compassion and expert guidance.  They are dedicated to ensuring that complex client needs are addressed discreetly, efficiently, and appropriately.

What does Palliative Care mean? Palliative care is an interdisciplinary medical caregiving approach aimed at optimizing quality of life and mitigating suffering among people with serious, complex illness.

What types of companies can apply? Any investable company or organization with at least a minimum viable product and/or a prototype in its development.

What about confidentiality? Products and startups may be used in materials promoting the Cambia Grove TRAILS Competition. Finalists will pitch virtually in front of a live panel of judges online. Winners may request a nondisclosure agreement with Banister Advisors, LLC.

When will the three-month accelerator take place? The three-month accelerator program with Banister Advisors will take place Winter 2021, we will defer to the winning team and Banister to set up an optimized schedule. 

What will happen after the three-month program with Banister Advisors is complete? Cambia Grove will ask you to write a blog about your experience that will be externally facing and potentially used for future TRAILS Competition promotion. 

What about my intellectual property? There is no exchange of IP to participate in this competition.

What about equity? There is no exchange of equity to participate in this competition.

Can my startup submit more than one product?  Yes.

Can I apply if I’ve received funding already?  Yes.

Can I purchase additional time with Banister? This will have to be worked out with Banister Advisors, LLC and will be a separate contract than what was used for the TRAILS Competition. 

Will I have access to patients/clients? Depending on the product need, access to patients/clients may be possible through Banister Advisors, LLC and it's extended network.

Judging Criteria 

Judging criteria will reflect the patient perspective, the health care system perspective and the business viability for the product. 

  • Seeks to positively impact at least one component of the Triple Aim (improvements in population health, experience of care & per capita cost), without negatively impacting the other components.
  • Improves day to day life for people and/or their families
  • Inclusive and equitable to diverse communities and identities
  • Reduces disparities across race, gender, socioeconomic status, etc.
  • Increases and improves individualized and culturally competent care from providers to patients and families
  • Improves patient and family engagement with providers, payers and/or other stakeholders
  • Improves operational efficiency for providers, payers and/or other stakeholders
  • Easily integrates into the current health care system
  • Makes it easier for different system stakeholders to provide and collaborate towards more inclusive and equitable care 
  • Product or solution has proof of efficacy
  • Product or solution is financially sustainable
  • Product or solution is scalable
  • Product or solution has a competitive advantage 
  • Product or solution equitably delivers value in a real world setting to all types of patients

Find a comprehensive list of this year's judges by clicking the button below!

Fall 2019 TRAILS Competition

Winner: Samaritan

Spring 2019 TRAILS Competition

Winner: BrainChild Technologies

Spring 2018 TRAILS Competition

Winner: Litesprite