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


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.

2021 Contestants

  • Blind spot sensors for wheelchairs
  • Increasing Independence and Improving Quality-of-Life and Safety With Hands-Free Footwear
  • NewGait: A functional exercise mobility tool for improved proprioception and neuroplasticity
  • Scaling Music as Medicine
  • The NeuroLife Sleeve Development Program – Aiming to Restore Hand Function after Stroke


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 14 MARCH.  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.


Accepted Competitors receive 20% DISCOUNT off the Registration Rates for the Annual Conference

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  24-29 SEPT 2021.

“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
  • Accepted Competitors receive 20% DISCOUNT off the Registration Rates for the Annual Conference


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.


APPLY >> CLOSED for 2021. 2022 submissions open WINTER 2022

See 2020 contestants and winners >>


Questions or referrals?

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

ACRM 98th Annual VIRTUAL Conference | Progress in Rehabilitation Research

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

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

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