A Rehabilitation Technology Innovation Competition

Developed by the ACRM Technology Networking Group

This year’s competition will be held during the Virtual ACRM Annual Conference — the largest interdisciplinary rehabilitation research conference in the world.

ACRM is where cutting-edge research and technology meet clinical practice to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. The conference is attended by thousands of researchers and clinicians who value cutting-edge research and technology.

ACRM LaunchPad : a Rehabilitation Technology Innovation Competition

Congratulations to 2020 LaunchPad Winners


2020 LaunchPad Judges

Gerard Francisco, MD
Professor and Chair
University of Texas Health Science Center McGovern Medical School

Tiffany Wilson

Mohanraj Thirumalai, PhD
Assistant Professor
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Matteo Tomasi, PhD

John Morris, PhD
Senior Clinical Research Scientist
Shepherd Center


The ACRM Technology Networking Group is pleased to announce LaunchPad — an exciting opportunity to pitch your company or idea to a panel of rehab industry experts and an audience of clinicians, researchers, engineers, and decision-makers to receive market feedback and win prizes.

LaunchPad is an annual competition created to highlight innovative rehabilitation technologies developed by non-profit research and engineering labs and startup companies. The competition is held at ACRM’s annual conference each fall.


STAGE 1 – Spring

LaunchPad is a 6-month, 2-stage competition, beginning with the submission of applications in the spring by competitors. The application deadline is May 15, 2020.  Applications should include an Executive Summary that describes the following:

  • Your innovative rehabilitation technology
  • Your target user
  • The problem addressed
  • Evidence of efficacy and other user feedback
  • Evidence of adoption, if any

Download the Executive Summary Outline to identify the information needed to submit an application.



These applications will be reviewed by the LaunchPad Task Force of ACRM’s Technology Networking Group and five finalists will be chosen.


STAGE 2 – Fall

Finalists will present their technologies before a panel of interdisciplinary judges, including healthcare administrators, rehabilitation technology researchers and engineers, rehabilitation clinicians, medical doctors, and technology entrepreneurs to win prizes and gain valuable feedback from rehab professionals at the Virtual ACRM Annual Conference 19-24 OCT 2020.

“LaunchPad offers a unique opportunity for startups and R&D labs to receive feedback on their rehabilitation technology solutions directly from experts with deep knowledge of health technology R&D, rehabilitation services and technology acquisition” —Tracey Wallace, CCC-SLP, Chair of the LaunchPad Task Force


  • Early-stage health technology companies
    • (Limited to companies that have less than $500k in funding and have been in business less than 4 years, or if in business longer than 4 years, have less than $200k in revenue
  • Rehabilitation research labs/ researchers working on technology-based solutions


The conference is attended by thousands of researchers, physicians and clinicians, engineers, and business and community leaders who value cutting-edge rehabilitation research and technology. Last year, 81% of all attendees identified themselves as purchasing decision-makers & influencers for their departments!



First place: “Best Overall”

  • The recipient will receive an 8 x 10 inline exhibit booth space at the ACRM 2020 Annual Conference EXPO, including 2 exhibitor registrations to attend Core Conference programming ($2,499 value)
  • The recipient will be interviewed by Dr. Ford Vox, Digital Media Editor, for an upcoming episode of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation podcast, RehabCast.

Secondary awards: “Most Innovative” and “Most Impactful”

*All three winners will be featured in a shared inline booth space (8’ x 10’) at the ACRM 2020 Annual Conference EXPO.



See last year’s contestants and winners >>


Questions or referrals?

Email Megan Mitchell, PhD or Submit them via the form below. 


ACRM 98th Annual Conference | Progress in Rehabilitation Research | VIRTUAL & IN-PERSON: DALLAS

CORE: 24 – 26 SEPT 2021 // PRE-CONFERENCE: 26 – 29 SEPT 2021

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* Although significant changes are not anticipated, the schedules, sessions, and presenters are subject to change.


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