What Is the Well City Challenge?
The Economy League of Greater Philadelphia in partnership with Accelerate Health Equity and powered by Independence Blue Cross presents the Well City Challenge - a social impact competition that will engage and support everyday innovators with new creative ideas for addressing Philadelphia’s health and wellness challenges. We are soliciting proposals from the community and supporting their development through workshops, pitch competitions, mentorship, an accelerator, and over $100,000 in prizes, as well as access to seed investments.
The 2023 Well City Challenge is focused on Community Solutions for Mind and Heart Health. Through a series of listening sessions, we have compiled the community’s most common and significant concerns regarding mental and cardiovascular health. Those concerns are the basis for the competition’s subcategories.
We are seeking proposals that address:
Creating Community & Social Connection: With today’s technology, there are new opportunities to build community in nontraditional ways, breaking down the invisible walls that act as barriers to true connection. Those walls include arbitrary lines between neighborhoods, but also the divisions between generations. Creating stronger community and social connections gives us a chance to empower neighbors, tap into grassroots leadership, and increase access to resources.
Breaking Barriers: Equitable Access to Nutrition & Care: Too often, health disparities come down to one thing: access. There is no shortage of hospitals and health resources in the region, but the reality is that the quality of care is often dictated by a patient’s race or ethnicity. Likewise, many under-resourced neighborhoods lack access to healthy, culturally appropriate foods. We must build pathways to care and nutrition that embraces and reflects the community’s identity, instead of working against it.
Creating Safe Spaces: Safety in our Streets, Homes, & Communities: Our environment has a direct impact on our health, and unsafe environments lead to unhealthy outcomes. Here in Philadelphia, our neighborhoods are facing an epidemic of gun violence. There is an undeniable link between violence and health—whether poor mental health leads to violence, victims of violence face poor mental health outcomes, or neighbors are fearful of their surroundings. Unsafe streets are preventing many neighbors from walking, gathering, attending community hubs, and other activities that contribute to health and wellness. Safe spaces are critical to both mind and heart health.
APPLICATION CLOSES MARCH 3RD
Who Should Apply
It all starts with an idea.
It starts with you.
We believe the best ideas come directly from the community. The Well City Challenge calls upon everyday innovators to look around their neighborhoods, tap into their personal experience, and submit their inspiring solutions to health inequities.
1. Your submission must support improving the heart and/or mind health of Philadelphians.
2. Your submission must provide a health solution for one of the three focus areas (Community and Social Connection, Equitable Access to Nutrition & Care, and Creating Safe Spaces).
3. You must be at least 18 years of age to apply.
4. Teams must be composed of no more than four (4) people.
5. The individual applicant (or at least one team member) must live or work in the Philadelphia area (i.e., Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, or Montgomery Counties).
What Ideas Will Make It
The Well City Challenge will give preference to health-related ideas that:
Attack the root causes of cardiovascular and mental health inequities;
Embrace creativity, collaboration, diversity, inclusiveness, and community orientation;
Can be piloted at a small scale, or
have the potential to be replicated or scaled,
Are not overly duplicative of services or programs already in place in the Philadelphia area, and
Can make a measurable impact on cardiovascular and/or mental health outcomes.
WELL CITY CHALLENGE 2.0 UPDATES
Upcoming Well City Challenge 2.0 Events
March 3, 2023
February 2, 2023
Well City Challenge: Call for Ideas Happy Hour!
Location: SouthSide Events (1410 Mt. Vernon St. Phila PA 19130) Door next to SOUTH.
March 26, 2023 - March 31, 2023
February 8, 2023
Virtual Office Hours - Come ask questions about the WCC during our office hours!
Time: 4pm -6pm
*Virtual Event - Zoom Details Below:
Meeting ID: 883 2684 6853
To call-in: 929-205-6099
April 3, 2023
February 16, 2023
Help Desk: Drop by and get help from the Well City Challenge team!
April 12, 2023 - April 30, 2023
February 23, 2023
Location: Economy League of Greater Philadelphia
May 4, 2023
Location: University City Science Center
March 1, 2023
May 25, 2023
Keep your finger on the pulse of what's happening during the WCC!
Sign up for text alerts and never miss a beat.
Text "wcc" to (205) 778-1393 and stay in the know!
2021 WELL CITY CHALLENGE
Meet the fifteen teams who pitched their ideas publicly in our 2021 Well City Challenge focused on impacting millenial health in Philadelphia. Learn about our finalist, Grand Prize Winner and People's Choice Award Winners.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER 2021
HEY AUNTIE! BY NICOLE KENNEY
We are thrilled to announce the 2021 Well City Challenge $50,000 Grand Prize winner is Hey Auntie!
Hey Auntie!, a multi-generational wellness tech platform for Black women that facilitates purposeful connections through conversations, fitness, learning new skills, and volunteerism, was named the $50,000 Well City Challenge grand prize recipient during the Well City Expo in July 2021.
WELL CITY CHALLENGE NEWS
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is there any cost to submit an idea for the Well City Challenge?
A: There are no costs or fees to apply to the Well City Challenge.
Q: Are you required to submit an idea as a team?
A: Ideas can be submitted from individuals or from teams of no more than four people.
Q: How many ideas will be selected for the pitch competition?
A: From our call from ideas application, we will select up to fifteen ideas, five from each of our content themes (Food and Nutrition, Community and Social Connection, Mind/Body)
Q: In what stage of development should your idea be?
A: The Well City Challenge is best suited for those in the idea stage, early stage ventures or existing organizations that are trying to expand into a new market. The incubator and accelerator are designed to help people develop and pilot their ideas.
Q: Can I submit more than one idea?
A: We encourage you to submit your strongest ideas. Applicants are welcome to submit more than one idea.
Q: Can there be a cost associated with my idea?
A: The Well City Challenge is open to for-profit and non-profit ideas. There is no fee to apply for the Well City Challenge.
Q: Can I submit my idea to all three categories (Community & Social Connection, Food & Nutrition, Mind/Body)?
A: No, the application requires that you submit your idea to one category.
Q: What time of day will the incubator happen?
A: If your application is selected as a Well City Challenge finalist, your team will participate in the Well City Challenge virtual rapid incubator workshops for approximately 8-10 hours over the course of two weeks in January 2021. These scheduled dates are still being finalized. We are looking to host most programming in the early evening.
We are grateful to our advisory committee, a diverse group of local leaders invested in health equity. The committee was instrumental in shaping this year’s competition and ensuring that the program is inclusive, serves as a helpful resource for communities, and provides a meaningful experience for participants.
Well City Challenge Advisory Committee
Leann Ayers, Senior Program Officer, Philadelphia Foundation
Tamara J. Cadet, PhD, LICSW, MPH, Associate Professor, Senior Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
Sandra Gomberg, MSN, RN, COO, Stel Life
Talore Gray-Peel, MPH, Program Officer, ProMedica
Casey Kuklick, Chief of Staff, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Tia Lyles-Williams, CEO, HelaPlex
Lauren Nestler, Chief Communications & Strategy Officer, Public Health Management Corporation
Orfelina Feliz Payne, Executive Director, Puentes de Salud
Olan Soremekun, MD, MBA, Co-Founder & CEO, Cabaya Care
Laura Weinbaum, Vice President, Strategy & Impact, Project HOME