NDSU-Sanford Health Idea Challenge

The Future of Rural Health Care

Sanford Health and North Dakota State University are collaborating to host a student problem-solving challenge Sept. 25, 2020 from 1-5 p.m. online. Participants will be on Zoom and asked to present solutions to the question: How do we improve healthcare in rural areas?


Following the event, teams are invited to continue working on their idea with support from Sanford and NDSU, with an opportunity to pitch their final idea November 19th.

Who’s It For

All undergraduate and graduate students across North Dakota – along with community members and Sanford employees, interns, and residents – are invited to sign-up below. All backgrounds are welcome, including majors in health, science, technology, social sciences, and more.

How It Works

At the event students will pitch ideas, form teams, and compete to come up with the best ideas on the future of rural health care. Subject matter experts (SME) from Sanford Health and NDSU will be a resource to students and help them build their presentations. Following the event, teams can continue working with the subject matter experts to bring their ideas to life throughout the fall, culminating in ND Innovation Day November 19th when teams pitch their final ideas. Winners will have the opportunity to earn internships with Sanford to continue their work.

Questions? Just Ask.

Reach out and let us know if you have questions. We’re here to help. Just click here.


Friday, Sept. 25:

  • 1 p.m.
    • Welcome from Sanford Health and NDSU
    • Introduction to Sanford Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who will work with participants throughout the fall
  • 1:10 p.m.: Keynote by brothers Drs. Jon Ulven of Sanford Health and Chad Ulven of NDSU
  • 1:30 p.m.:
    • Scott Meyer goes over problems and event format
    • Students identify and pitch teams
  • 2:30 p.m.: Students break into teams and are joined by mentors from Sanford and NDSU
  • 4:30 p.m.: Teams present their concepts, take feedback, and create a plan to continue developing their idea

After the event, teams are invited to continue working on their idea. To do so, they will meet roughly weekly to hone their idea. Mentors will join to help their work.

October 6th

  • Teams are invited to an NDSU bootcamp to learn more about customer interviews

October 20th

  • Teams are invited to an NDSU bootcamp to learn more about business models

October 29th

  • Teams are invited to submit their idea to the Innovation Challenge for further feedback and potential rewards

November 17th

  • Teams are invited to an NDSU bootcamp on pitching

November 19th

  • Teams pitch their ideas to a panel of health care experts as a part of ND Innovation Day. Winners are announced during the event.

Sign Up

NiceX: Sanford Health

  • For example, mental health, computer science, nursing, etc.