Digital Health Rewired’s Pitchfest, the entrepreneurial competition providing a platform for young and innovative ventures to scale in the NHS, has opened applications for 2024.  

This year Pitchfest is welcoming entrants in two categories: pre-revenue start-ups and post-revenue start-ups. 

The winners of Pitchfest 2023 were digital-first maternity and child platform Hera in the start-up category and AI mental health chatbot Limbic in the scale-up competition. 

Since Pitchfest launched in 2019, over 400 applications have been submitted. They have come from the UK, Europe, and across the globe US, Canada and Australia.  

Applications close on 8 December where 16 start-ups will be shortlisted for the virtual heats taking place in January.  

The finalists will have the chance to win an NHS test bed site, which could involve their innovation being rolled out at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust through the CW Innovation programme – a collaboration between the trust and its partner charity CW+.  

Chris Chaney, Chief Executive of CW+ and co-lead of CW Innovation, said: ‘This is our fifth year partnering with Digital Health on Pitchfest 2024 and we are once again excited to offer winners of this year’s competition the opportunity to pilot their solution at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.  

“We are looking forward to forging new relationships and would like to encourage digital health start-ups (pre-revenue and post-revenue) from across the sector to apply.”  

 ‘Innovation is about making change for good and harnessing positivity and energy, even in the most challenging of times. By taking part in initiatives such as Pitchfest, our CW Innovation programme paves the way for new ideas that will improve patient care and experience’. 

CW+ is joined by Pitchfest partners, Health Innovation Network and PR agency Silver Buck.  

Sarah Bruce, Co-founder and Director, Silver Buck said: “Silver Buck is proud to sponsor Pitchfest 2024 to support and foster young, innovative ventures in the healthcare sector.  

“This inspiring competition offers a unique opportunity for companies to demonstrate their capabilities, helping them to scale and make a significant impact within the NHS as well as giving them widespread exposure across the industry. We can’t wait to see the exciting innovations that are showcased this year!”  

Confirmed Pitchfest judges are:  

  • Jon Hoeksma, CEO, Digital Health 
  • Chris Chaney, Chief Executive, CW+ 
  • Sarah Hanbridge, CCIO Nursing & AHP, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust 
  • Sara Nelson, Programme Director, DigitalHealth.London
  • Stacey Hatton, CNIO at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton 
  • Dr Hellena Habtu-Asres, Digital Fellow, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Dr John Lee Allen, Managing Partner, RYSE Asset Management 
  • Chris Sawyer, Innovation Lead, Digital Health, Innovate UK 

Pitchfest forms part of the exciting Rewired 2024 conference. The CPD-accredited programme is already taking shape with confirmed keynotes Dr. Vin Diwakar, the incoming interim director of transformation for NHS England, Matthew Taylor, CEO of NHS Confederation, Prof. Greta Westwood, CEO of Florence Nightingale Foundation, and Ana Prado, the CMIO of one of the most digitally mature hospitals in Europe. 

How to enter Pitchfest  

Apply by completing a short form via the website 

Successful applicants will be invited to do a three-minute online pitch to judges in late January. Four submissions in each category will be selected to progress as finalists to battle it out in a live stage final at Rewired 2024 in Birmingham. Entries close at 6pm on Friday 8 December 2023.