Target unveils contest to fuel innovation in health care

MINNEAPOLIS — In an effort to fuel innovation in health care, Target unveiled on Monday a contest to generate ideas to simplify health care and help individuals and families live healthier lives. Enter the Target Simplicity Challenge.

“As a retailer with more than 350,000 employees that operates stores across the nation with retail clinics, pharmacies and optical [locations], the growing dialogue about the need to transform health care is near and dear to hearts,” José Barra, SVP health and beauty at Target, told attendees during a special announcement at the Mayo Clinic Transform 2013 symposium. “We believe that there is value in surfacing simple, intuitive ideas to drive a lot of impact.”

To support these efforts, the retailer developed the Target Simplicity Challenge. To select the winning ideas, the retailer has enlisted 11 industry experts, including Amy Tenderich, founder of, and Nate Garvis, founder of Naked Civics. Both Tenderich and Garvis joined Barra for the special announcement.

The goal of the contest: To identify simple ideas to tackle some of the complexities in health care.

“This is a nationwide effort to identify ideas to address two of the biggest opportunities in health care today — managing chronic conditions and supporting individuals in their well-being and prevention,” Barra said. “We would like to invite healthcare professionals, experts, innovators and entrepreneurs to participate in this contest.”

The winner in each category will receive $25,000 and a chance to partner with Target to bring the idea to fruition. Submissions for the challenge are being accepted at through Oct. 24. Four semi-finalists will be announced in December, and the two winners will be announced in January.

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