Students (individually or as a team) will be given the opportunity to present their innovations at the Innovation Showcase, October 17, 2020 and compete for the $20,000 Michael G. Wells Entrepreneurial Scholars Award to help move their idea towards commercialization.

A $10,000 second place and $5,000 third place are also awarded. The Innovation Showcase is an annual event hosted by the Innovation Institute that provides University innovators the opportunity to present their ideas to an audience of investors, entrepreneurs, regional economic development representatives, local business executives and Pitt alumni.

The winners will be announced prior to the Innovation Showcase.

For more information on the Innovation Showcase click here.  The Innovation Showcase is held each October.  


  • University of Pittsburgh students (undergraduate and graduate) working on a healthcare-related Pitt technology or a new idea
  • Possess an idea that could change the way healthcare is practiced
  • Interested in learning about starting a business
  • The deadline for receipt of applications is on May 15, 2020.
  • Apply Now

Previous Winners

Previous Michael G. Wells Competition winners have progressed within the University entrepreneurial ecosystem and have participated and received additional funding through the Center for Medical Innovation and the Coulter Translational Research Partners II Program and the Pitt Innovation Challenge (PInCh).

  • The top prize for 2017 went to Esophagel, which is developing an extracellular matrix hydrogel that can be delivered to the esophagus to control inflammation and promote tissue remodeling in patient’s suffering from Barrett’s esophagus.
  • The 2016 winner Aeronics received additional funding for their healthcare solution, the mediPOD, after completing Quake Capital’s 14-week program in NYC.
  • The 2015 winner Interphase Materials (Oxi-Dent) progressed to the Innovation Institute’s Blast Furnace student business accelerator and Pitt Ventures Gear Program and subsequently licensed their technology from the university and were accepted into the AlphaLab Gear business accelerator. Read their story.