Introducing: The Assistive Tech Challenge

The Assistive Tech Challenge is a pitch competition presented by Destination Medical Center’s Discovery Square in collaboration with The Arc Minnesota Southeast Region, and the disABILITY Mayo Clinic Employee Resource Group to facilitate greater independence for individuals with disabilities and the daily challenges they face. The Challenge is also intended to strengthen their ability to live more independently and help reduce the direct support workforce crisis confronting communities in the region and across the United States.


Put your ideas into action at the Assistive Tech Challenge Design Workshops

Join us for our upcoming fast-paced, hands-on workshops to help bring your Assistive Tech Challenge ideas to life. Participants will “sprint” from starting from a real or perceived barrier to developing an idea to address it in just 90-120 minutes.

These workshops will be facilitated by the civic design nonprofit Our City in partnership with the Assistive Tech Challenge.

Please register using the links below:

Assistive Tech Design Workshop: Caregiver Experience

Thu, September 27, 2018 | 10:45 AM – 12:15 PM

Assistive Tech Design Workshop: Public Infrastructure

Thu, September 27, 2018 | 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Assistive Tech Design Workshop: Workforce & Social Skills Development

Fri, September 28, 2018 | 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

The Assistive Tech Challenge seeks solutions to:

  • Alleviating barriers to employment;
  • Reducing the need for and/or easing the demands of direct support on care providers;
  • Developing social skills that better enable people with and without disabilities to interact and cultivate meaningful relationships; and
  • Improving access to the community through public infrastructure.

Event Details:

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Assistive Technology Expo  at the Heintz Center in Rochester, Minnesota

Expo Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Assistive Tech Challenge Pitch Competition: 12 noon – 3:30 p.m.

Who can participate:

Anyone interested in forming a team and developing innovative Assistive Technology solutions that would allow people with visible and invisible disabilities to live more independently, engage in productive employment, and participate in community life.

There are two divisions:

  • Open (community-based teams and students)
  • Professional (corporations formed with annual revenues not exceeding $250,000)

Innovations in both personal technology and the public realm/public infrastructure will be encouraged. Teams will be asked to address the following questions in a five-minute presentation to an expert panel of judges, followed by three minutes of Q&A:

  • What problem are you solving?
  • How are you solving the problem?
  • Why is your team the one to solve it?
  • What do you need to develop a minimally viable product (MVP)?

$15,000 will be awarded by The Arc Minnesota to the first and second place winners in each division to further advance their idea. First Place will receive $5,000. Second Place will receive $2,500.

All first and second place teams will be eligible to participate in the Walleye Tank pitch competition in Rochester, MN on December 7, 2018.

All teams must submit an application to Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency by October 19, 2018. (Incomplete applications will not be accepted.)

For more information, check out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Additional questions can be sent to [email protected] Please include “AT Challenge” in the subject line.

Special Thanks to: