Global Health Initiatives Virtual Innovation Sprint

Since 2020, the Office of Global Health Initiatives and UB's Blackstone LaunchPad have collaborated to offer a virtual innovation sprint each fall.

The Climate-Health Innovation Sprint (2021)

Students, judges, and organizers take part in the Climate Health Innovation Sprint on Zoom.

On Fri., Nov. 19, 2021, the GECO / More Access, Better Buffalo team won first place in the OGHI's and Blackstone's 2021 Climate-Health Innovation Sprint, with their pitch that would expand access and routes of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) to lower pollution and support a healthier Buffalo.

Photos of student participants.

The GECO / More Access, Better Buffalo team included (top row, left to right) CHHB MPH student Saad Alasil, PhD, MS; Kayla Giglia, undergraduate public health major; (bottom row, left to right),  Jared Sharp, PhD student in linguistics, College of Arts and Sciences; and Tiffany Mai, SPHHP graduate student, environmental health.

Team Green for Erie was comprised of (below, left to right) Qamar Saitovski, undergraduate psychology major in the College of Arts and Sciences; Nabha Karunakar, graduate student in management information systems, School of Management; Sabrina Rahman, MPH student in biostatistics, School of Public Health and Health Professions.

Innovation Sprint participants.

Thank you, judges!

The panel of experts from academia and the community generously donated their time to judge the Innovation Sprint.

The Covid-19 Vaccine Challenge (2020)

The student teams were tasked with making a hypothetical COVID-19 vaccine available and providing accurate information about it.

Team 3 pitched a "Vac-to-Normal" campaign to win the COVID-19 Vaccine Challenge on Nov. 20, 2020.

Zoom screen showing competitors, judges, and audience members during the COVID-19 Vaccine Challenge on Nov. 20, 2020.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Challenge took place via Zoom. 

Team members Ray Huang (Public Health/Psychology), Kelly Law (MPH), Steven Gabriel (MBA/MPH), Ritika Bhajiawala (Biological Sciences) and Oluwademilade Daniel Aguda (Biotechnology) won the virtual Innovation Sprint on Nov. 20.

Team 3's "Vac-to-Normal" pitch emphasized health disparities in Western New York, with particular attention paid to the African American and Native American communities in the region. Team 3's hypothetical approach was to partner with community leaders, the Department of Health, experts from UB, small business owners, the Buffalo Bills and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. They also stressed the potential of mobile clinics, and even food trucks, for making the vaccine readily available and equitably distributed. 

Steven Gabriel (top photo) and Kelly Law (bottom photo) during the Zoom event.

Steven Gabriel (above) and Kelly Law (below) take questions from the judges during the Innovation Sprint. 

Second Place: Team 4 “Power Vaxxers
Mridu Moitra (Biomedical Engineering), Maisha Rahman (Public Health), Supriya Mahajan (MPH), Sadia Rifah (Public Health) and Lianne Novak (MPH) of Team 4 were runners-up. 

Mridu Moitra and Lianne Novak take questions from the judges.

Mridu Moitra (left) and Lianne Novak (right) take questions from the judges. 

Our first and second place teams faced fierce competition.

Team 1 "#VaxUp"
Nelli Kisliuk (Public Health), Ali Attai (Computer Science), Parveen Attai (Epidemiology MPH), Crystal Asabor (Public Health), Asiya Mohamed (French), Maia Weiss (Biology). 

Team 2 “Vital Consultants”
Gabriel Attallah (EMBA, M.D.), Anjali Bhagavatula (Biotech), Nicole LoCascio (MPH), Ashiqi Shaji (Public Health), Paige Sinsebox (MPH).

Team 1's COVID-19 Vaccination Sticker.

Team 1's COVID-19 Vaccination Sticker

Thank you, judges!

The panel of seven experts from academia, health care and community organizations generously donated their time to judge the Innovation Sprint.

Collaborating sponsors

The "COVID-19 Vaccine Challenge" virtual Innovation Sprint was sponsored by the Office of Global Health Initiatives and UB's Blackstone LaunchPad & TechStars.

Contact Us

Jennifer A. Foster, PhD.

Jennifer A. Foster, PhD

Coordinator

Office of Global Health Initiatives

188 BEB

Email: fosterj@buffalo.edu