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Hat’s off to Grow Wellington for keeping it simple and sweet, and setting the initial bar low in its ‘Innovating for Health Challenge’.

Anyone with an idea, good, bad or indifferent, only has to submit up to 100 words for a proposition with commercial potential in a healthcare application.

And, when you think about it, if you can’t spark a ‘tell me more’ response in four or five sentences, you might as well head back to the drawing board.

Entries close on March 30, and while the hundred or so already in are mostly from researchers and clinicians across universities, research institutes and district health boards, the competition’s open to anyone across the country.

GW’s sweetens the pot for entrants with free IP management advice, connections with and to entrepreneurs and investors and help in working up a business plan for some of those ideas deemed good enough.

Oh, and the winner gains $50,000 development funding.

Part of the scheme’s virtue (from sticK’s point of view) is that academics sometimes deem ‘business’ as being something they’re not interested in — yet these are the very people that will have the health ideas.

Simply, getting their ideas on the table is an excellent start though, and every submission will receive feedback.

Not many people realise that the Wellington’s region has almost 2000 researchers; with many being health professionals in CRIs, universities, medical school offshoots and clinical trial facilities.

The opportunity to leverage that expertise against promising ideas is one that the region should take. Allowing academics and others from around the country to quickly and easily submit an idea (compared to spending days filling in a funding application) is quite appealing.

Hand-holding at stage two, the feasibility study part, makes sense.

So, a final reminder…..just a hundred words for a good healthy idea.