Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Texas Healthcare Challenge?

  • A  2-day hackathon focused on creating team-based solutions to problems in healthcare. 
  • An opportunity that fosters innovative thinking and solutions.
  • Teams are instructed to use design thinking to create products, iterate business models, map out go-to-market strategies, and potentially build new healthcare ventures.
  • Keynote talks, problem pitching, mixing, team forming, hacking, mentorship, feedback, idea iteration, pitch practice sessions, final presentations, judging panel, and prizes.                      

What a healthcare hackathon or prize challenge is NOT:

  • It is not a healthcare investment event or automatic entrance into an accelerator program
  • It is not a healthcare symposium: speakers, lecture sessions, dining, observing
  • It is not a chance to advertise or promote your business, your product or service (unless you are a sponsor and permission has been granted)
  • It is not solely a healthcare networking event

This being said, some of the above items may take place.

Who’s invited?

While TXHCC hackathons have been open to everyone in the past, this WISH hackathon is specifically focused on females.  [Female applicants will be prioritized.] Mentors, judges, speakers, volunteers, facilitators, etc. are co-ed. This event is truly multidisciplinary, meaning women with just about any professional background can participate. You can expect to work alongside entrepreneurs, students, doctors, engineers, software developers, scientists, graphic designers, nurses, policymakers, CIOs, corporate managers, and many others.

Can I bring my own team?

You CAN NOT bring an already existing company or startup with raised funds.  This would give an unfair advantage to those who are pitching their idea for the first time.  However, attendees may come with a team already set. If so, everyone must register separately. During the pitching session on Friday night, those who choose to do so can pitch a problem statement they’ve seen or experienced in healthcare. So, instead of pitching your company, product or service, you CAN pitch the underlying problem you are solving.

Do I need to bring a team myself, or will I be placed on a team?

If you have a team already, feel free to bring the whole crew. Each member will need to register separately.  You might even split up to double your impact. 

What if I don’t have a team

Flying solo? Don’t sweat it. Most attendees will be looking to join a team; we can help you find a team to join on the first evening.

What are the Tracks? How will we form into teams?

Track themes are TBD and will be announced prior to the event.  For the Problem Pitching on Friday night – those who have a problem to pitch will do so in order of Groups and Themes as listed below. Attendees will hear these pitches and then mingle with those who pitched. 

What are the prizes? 

  • 1st Prize is $1000, with 4 Finalist teams winning $250 per team.
  • 3 IBM  Sponsor Prizes will be awarded for best use of Watson APIs or best solution developed on  the cloud. This includes up to $120K in IBM Cloud credits.
  • All Finalists receive a 1 year Pulse Membership & Wednesday Co-working  access at Health Wildcatters ($400 value).
  • All other teams win 6 months of Pulse Membership ($50 value).
  • Wildcard Prize for Team with Biggest Social Media #'s .

When is the event?

The event begins with a mixer at 5pm on Friday, Feb 21 and ends with final presentations and VIP reception on the evening of Saturday, Feb 22.

When is the application deadline?

1 week prior to the event - Feb 14.


Who owns the project my team works on? What about intellectual property? 

The team is the owner of any IP but at this early stage. Each project requires much more commercialization effort to be valuable. Don’t worry about IP at this stage.

Is there a code of conduct?  

Yes click here to read it. You’ll also be asked to sign a paper version at registration.

How do I connect to a wireless network during the hackathon?

The password will be provided on the registration name tag.

Location and Parking?

This event will be held at the Health Wildcatters office at 1910 Pacific Avenue, 20th floor in downtown Dallas. The closest DART station is St Paul and there are several parking garages and surface lots within the surrounding blocks. For more info on parking in downtown visit The best one is Elm Street Garage (2000 Elm St. Dallas, 75201) - Large parking structure at the corner of Harwood & Elm. It is $5 after 5pm on Friday and $5 all day on Saturday. Our office (1910 Pacific Avenue Dallas, 75201) is located diagonally across the street from Elm Street Garage, right past The Majestic (before the skybridge). Upon entering the building from the street, take elevators to the right of the reception area up to the 20th floor. 

First time visitors to Dallas?



DART Public Transportation:

Where to avoid:

What if I have no ideas to bring?

No problem! Listen to others pitch their ideas and join a team.

I’ve heard this event referred to as a “hackathon”. Will I need experience in computer programming to participate?

No programming expertise needed. Teams may choose to promote a new business model and present that in their pitch. Some teams may actually code a first prototype.

Do I need to stay for the entire event?

Yes, please plan on showing up for Friday and Saturday. To get the most out of the event, accepted applicants should stay until the awards are announced on Saturday night. Friday night at 10:00pm, all participants will leave the building and doors will open again at 8:00am on Saturday.

Will there be food?

Every meal time will be covered + plus snacks and drinks.

Is travel to the event reimbursed?

No, travel to/from the event is not reimbursed.

When can I expect to hear back after I apply?

Within a week

Are there other ways to get involved?

Yes! We’re always looking for more sponsors, judges, mentors, and volunteers. Just apply and let us know if you’d like to be involved in those ways.


Can I bring a “Plus One”? 

No. We will not be able to accommodate any uninvited guest or walk-ins as we have limited space. However, please feel free to recommend them to apply.

How to pitch a problem statement? (Friday night)

  • Pitching is not required, but you have to join a team to compete.
  • This is an opportunity to get excited about a healthcare idea and come up to the front of the room and have the microphone for 60 seconds. Here's what you do: When it's your turn to pitch, say your name, your assigned number, a sentence about yourself, and then explain the problem you want to solve in healthcare. Tell a story about it. What is the problem? Who is impacted? Why is it important? Don't describe the solution yet. Just  explain the problem.

What do I do if I plan on problem pitching on Friday night? 

Fill out this form to sign up (Click here)

How to join a team? (Friday night)

Pitch or listen to pitches and select 3-4 that are of interest. When pitches are done, mingle until you find a team. Don’t worry, we will help you find a team.

What are the judging criteria?

  • Innovation: Is there impressive use of cutting-edge technology? Is the hack tackling a new problem? If an existing problem, is the hack approaching it with a significant new idea / technology?
  • Health Impact: How much better is this than the current standard of care? Does it contribute to patient care improvements in a clear way? How big is the potential benefit to patients if the project was developed? How much end user research have they conducted or plan to conduct?
  • Business Model : How does this innovation compete with what is or might be on the market? Is there a clear revenue model? Have they identified hypotheses, assumptions, or low-cost experiments they can perform? Will an end-user pay for this or be attracted to use it?
  • Presentation: Was the presentation exciting? Did the outcome of the hack surprise you? Is the storytelling visually appealing? Did they use their 3 minutes wisely? Did this team come-in with a pre-existing project?

What is expected from me as a participant?

Show up, listen to problem pitches, join a team, contribute to a viable solution worthy of pitching, meet new people, have some fun, and try to win prizes. 

At the end of the event, what should a finished project look like?

A finished project will consist of a pitch deck given by one or all of the teammates. If there is code to assess, A/V equipment will be available to show your solution in action. A rubric will be provided on the day of the event.

What should I bring?

We recommend you to bring a laptop, tablet, or smartphone at minimum. Sketch easel with paper and markers will be provided to each team.  Plenty of snacks and drinks will also be provided.

What should I wear?

Business casual to casual attire is acceptable.  Be comfortable - think jeans, t-shirt, etc.

Who will be there? 

In addition to the attendees, others include: mentors, speakers, the Challenge leadership team, and VIPs (those involved in the Health Wildcatters network).

What is Health Wildcatters and how are they connected to this event? 

Health Wildcatters was founded in 2013 to address the need for a health innovation hub in the burgeoning Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex healthcare industry. Since its inception the Health Wildcatters portfolio has grown to 57 startups and has raised over $50 million solidifying Health Wildcatters as one of the top healthcare accelerators in the country. In 2016 Health Wildcatters renovated and relocated to a 17,000 square foot space to provide health startups a place for work and collaboration with others in the industry. In addition, Health Wildcatters created an event space which allows the organization to hold 60-70 events annually spanning the Pulse Breakfast and Lunch Series, the Health Track for Startup Week Dallas, and now the Texas Healthcare Challenge.