Transforming Health Systems: Gamechanging Business Models

Transforming Health Systems

Gamechanging Business Models

Competition Information

Competition News

Winners announced!

The verdict is in – the three winners of Transforming Health Systems: Gamechanging Business Models have been selected. Two winning entries, selected by the Changemakers community and a panel of expert judges, and the Idea Prize winner, represent gamechanging business models that are solving the systemic health problems of different markets around the world. They will receive cash prizes totalling US $55,000 plus support from Boehringer Ingelheim to help grow their innovations.

Read about their solutions below. As always, we welcome your continued feedback on all entries.

The competition finalists continue to be eligible to win an additional $30,000 funding envelope from Boehringer Ingelheim. Stay tuned for the winner’s announcement in September!

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For questions about the competition, email Jessica Hannon: (North America and Africa), Indrani Sharma: (Asia) or ThienVinh Nguyen: (Europe).

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Welcome Letter

Dear Changemakers Community,

The world is faced with two major, systemic health challenges in two distinctly different markets.

In mature markets, key stakeholders within the traditional healthcare system—such as but not limited to primary and specialized care providers, insurance companies, and other government or private-sector organizations—are not designed to collaborate. Rather, they are incentivized by business interests to create purely self-sustaining operations, often at the expense of real value creation.

In emerging markets, on the other hand, many communities face major gaps in health provision. Governments are often unable, or lack the commitment, to provide care; the business sector is not positioned to fill the gap sufficiently, if at all; and non-profits often have too few resources to serve too many communities in need.

While the systemic challenges described above are powerful trends, the picture has its complexities. Communities in both mature and emerging markets may share challenges or contend with unique factors that differ from those described above. Nevertheless, the broad barriers are clear, and solutions are urgently needed.

Building on the wealth of insights gained from the first Making More Health competition, Boehringer Ingelheim and Ashoka Changemakers are launching, Transforming Health Systems: Gamechanging Business Models. This second global online competition seeks gamechanging business models that can:

a) realign the incentives in the healthcare system in mature markets to create greater value in health for society, or

b) fill the gaps in the health sector and bring accessible healthcare to communities in emerging markets.

Winners will receive cash prizes totalling US $85,000. In addition, they will receive pro bono work from Boehringer Ingelheim, such as consulting services through its Corporate Strategy & Development Department, and a joint workshop with executives from selected functions/businesses of Boehringer Ingelheim, to help them reach their next level of impact.

Finally, winners will be matched with Boehringer Ingelheim’s local country offices, and will get the opportunity to work with BI at the local level and explore the potential for partnerships or further, on-going in-kind support.

Innovative business models have the potential to disrupt and transform health systems so that real value for patients, families, and communities are placed at the center of care. We need your ideas to help guide healthcare forward in mature and emerging markets. Submit or nominate a solution today.

Jean Scheftsik de Szolnok
Corporate Vice-President Europe South and Making More Health Steering Committee Chair
Boehringer Ingelheim

Eligibility, Criteria & Prizes



  • The competition is open to all individuals, organizations, and partnerships from around the world.
  • Solutions may engage in one or more of the activities listed under "Assessment Criteria”
  • Preference will be given to solutions that have grown beyond the conceptual stage, although idea-stage solution will be qualified for the “idea prize”,
  • We cannot accept entries that promote Boehringer Ingelheim or its products.
  • Entries must be submitted in English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French.



There are different types of prizes – winners will receive cash prizes, pro bono work, and prizes that contain both. The pro bono work will include the following elements: consulting services delivered by BI's Corporate Strategy & Development Department, and an invitation to a joint workshop with executives from different functions/businesses at the BI Headquarter. For both elements, we will adjust the services according to the specific needs of the winners—which could be, for example, a review and further development of the business plan.

  • First prize of US $30,000; plus
    • Three days of consulting;
    • A one-day workshop with innovators and BI executives.
  • Second prize of US $15,000; plus
    • Two days of consulting;
    • A one-day workshop with innovators and BI executives.
  • An Idea Prize of US $10,000 (provided to an entrant that may not yet have reached the business building phase, but that has a highly innovative idea that will be based on a sound business plan); plus
    • One day of consulting;
    • A one-day workshop with innovators and BI executives.
  • Early entry prizes, one of two US $1,000 prizes (if you enter before March 6, 2013).
  • Prizes are awarded in unrestricted cash funding.

  • Funding Envelope of US $30,000, awarded to an entrant selected by Boehringer Ingelheim staff upon review of business plans.

How to enter:

  • Read these step-by-step instructions or watch this video.
  • For advice on creating a better entry and boosting your chances of winning, read these tips.
  • Please complete the entry form in its entirety and submit by the deadline, 5 p.m. EST on April 10, 2013.

Assessment Criteria

Winners of the Transforming Health Systems: Gamechanging Business Models competition will be those that best meet the following criteria:

Gamechanging Business Model: Entries must describe a new innovative business model for solving one of the specific systemic problems described above, 1) realigning the incentives in the public healthcare system in mature markets, or 2) bringing accessible healthcare to communities in emerging markets. Entries should outline the key elements of their business model, such as unique value propositions, revenue models, service delivery approaches, channel networks and partners, and milestone plans going forward.

Gamechanging business models might use strategies such as:

  • Redesigning existing processes for efficiency (e.g., mHealth services, health hotlines, etc.);
  • Creating connections with non-traditional partners to increase healthcare accessibility or capacity (e.g., a partnership between traditional healers and medical institutions; a partnership between grocery stores and nutrition advisors);
  • Enabling access to finance for health (e.g., maternal health savings products, micro health insurance);
  • Applying new distribution models for health services (e.g., bundling health services with clean water sales, using the distribution channel of a consumer good company);
  • Redefining the role of health service providers to include individuals from outside the healthcare system, or creating entirely new roles (e.g., volunteer HIV community monitors, community care for hospice patients, or leveraging the skills of the disabled to provide better specialty care).
  • Designing a process, intervention, or model that is “beneficiary centered” – e.g., designed around the needs of the patient, caregiver, specific community, etc.


But there might be other strategies that are critical elements of a gamechanging business models, and we are interested in learning more about them, as well. Providing clarity about the business model is important for the purpose of evaluation.

Innovation: The best entries will be those that demonstrate a substantial difference from other initiatives in the field. Distinctiveness will be given a high ranking by the judges. Innovation does not necessarily involve inventing something entirely new. It may comprise new products or processes, as well as new applications or hybrid combinations of existing tools. Entries should describe how their solutions are driven by original, ground-breaking ideas.

Social Impact: Entries should describe how they make healthcare either 1) more impactful in mature markets by realigning incentives, or 2) more accessible in emerging markets by filling existing gaps. Entries should reflect an understanding of the systemic health barriers within their specific markets, and should describe how their business models reach impact by addressing them. The best solutions will have demonstrated impact, as well as the potential for scaling-up and replication. Entries should explain how the solution measures social impact through both quantitative and qualitative data.

Sustainability: Entries should have a clear plan for reaching long-term goals and securing financial backing—they should describe not only how they currently finance their work, but also how they plan to finance it in the future. They should also have a realistic time frame for implementation. The most successful entrants demonstrate that they have strong partnerships and support networks to address ongoing needs, and to aid in scalability and the maintenance of a clear financial strategy.

Competition Deadlines, Procedures and Rules

Online competition submissions are accepted until 5 p.m. EST on April 10, 2013. At any time before this deadline, competition participants are encouraged to revise their entries based on questions and insights that they receive through the Changemakers online discussion. Participation in the conversation enhances an entrant’s prospects in the competition, and provides the community and the judges with an opportunity to understand the entrant’s project more completely.

Here are the main phases in the competition:

  • Entry Stage: Beginning January 23, 2013, entries can be submitted until 5 p.m. EST on April 10, 2013. Throughout this stage, anyone can participate in an online review discussion with the entrants.
  • Early Entry Deadline, March 6, 2013: Entries received by 5 p.m. EST on March 6, 2013 are eligible for the Early Entry prize. Being an Early Entry Prize winner does not preclude you in any way from winning the competition, nor guarantee finalist status. All entries will be equally evaluated per the Changemakers criteria at the completion of the entry period.
  • Entry Deadline, April 10, 2013, 5 p.m. EST.
  • Online Review and Finalist Selection, April 10 – May 29, 2013: Online review and discussion continues. Simultaneously, a panel of independent judges selected by Ashoka or Boehringer Ingelheim will choose between 10 and 15 finalists from the “shortlist” selected by Ashoka staff and experts from the entire range of entries in the competition.
  • Finalists Announced, May 29, 2013: Competition Finalists and idea prize candidates announced.
  • Call for Business Plans, May 29 – June 12, 2013: All finalists, idea prize candidates and select entrants from the “shortlist” will be asked to submit business plans to be considered for the Funding Envelope.
  • Voting and Winners Selection, May 29 – June 19, 2013: The Changemakers community votes online to select two winners from the field of finalists. A third prize will be awarded for the best idea that has not yet entered into implementation and selected by Boehringer Ingelheim staff.
  • Winners Announced, July 10, 2013: The top two entries with the most votes from the Changemakers online community and the Idea Prize winner will be announced.
  • Funding Envelope Winner Announced: September 2013 (tbd)


The sponsor of this competition reserves the right to disqualify at any time (in its reasonasble discretion) any competition participant or competition entry for good cause, including, but not limited to, non-compliance with these competition Guidelines and Criteria, the Changemakers Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, or violation of any applicable laws, codes or regulations.

Disclaimer—Compliance with Legal Restrictions

Ashoka fully complies with all U.S. laws and regulations, including the Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations, and export control and anti-money laundering laws. Any grants will be awarded subject to compliance with all applicable U.S. laws and regulations.  Ashoka will not make any grant if it finds that to do so would be unlawful.  This may also prohibit awarding grants in certain countries and/or to certain individuals or entities.  All recipients will comply with any laws, codes and regulations to the extent they are applicable to such recipients.  No recipient will take any action that would cause Ashoka or its partner organizations for this competition (including the sponsor) to violate any laws, codes or regulations.  Additionally, Ashoka will not make any grant to a company involved in the promotion of tobacco use..

  Partners Thought Leaders

Judges Panel

Dr. Roberto Kikawa

Founder, Projeto CIES, Projeto CIES

John McKenzie

Journalist, Film Producer, John McKenzie Media

Mukti Bosco

Secretary General, Healing Fields Foundation

Nancy Barrand

Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Philipp Boehringer

Boehringer Ingelheim