Johnson & Johnson’s African Innovation Challenge Calls On Entrepreneurs To Submit Ideas For Innovative Tech In Health


Johnson & Johnson (J&J going forward) may be more popular for their consumer-facing line of products and cute baby ads than for helping startups and entrepreneurs to scale their businesses. The African Innovation does just that and it’s now in its second iteration after 2016’s inaugural challenge.


The Innovation Challenge was started to support Africa’s ‘rapidly enhancing innovation ecosystem’. Entrepreneurs who are creating innovative healthcare products or service get support in the form of money and mentorship. Chosen applicants will receive funding up to US$50,000 and technical mentoring in order to bring their solutions to market.

What are the fields of innovation?

The 2019 challenge will identify “scalable and sustainable business solutions to several critical health and environmental areas” including;

  • Digital health tools
  • Healthcare worker support
  • Mental health and service access
  • Essential surgical care
  • Environmentally-friendly packaging
  • Novel solutions that address botanical skincare products

Judging criteria

The submitted health care solutions will be evaluated based on their ability to meet the following criteria:

  • Idea submission addresses at least one of the six challenge categories (Botanical Solutions; Packaging Innovations; Mental Health; Health Worker Support; Digital Health Tools; Essential Surgical Care).
  • Idea submission is innovative and creative.
  • Idea submission is scalable.
  • Idea submission outlines how the award would help the applicant(s) reach a critical milestone within the timeframe of a single year and provides a full commercialisation plan.

Where do I sign up?

If you’re interested in competing in the challenge you can sign up for the J&J Innovation Challenge here.

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