Philips expands partnership with global incubator and seed fund to help accelerate connected digital health solutions worldwide

Builds on existing 1776 partnership and demonstrates Philips commitment to open innovation

January 22, 2016

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Andover, Mass.Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG; AEX: PHIA) today announced the expansion of its partnership with 1776 as the 2016 global health sponsor for the incubator’s Challenge Cup Competition and Challenge Festival. The growth of Philips 1776 partnership – from the 2015 sponsor of the Washington, D.C.-based 1776 Challenge Festival to a global health sponsorship in 2016 – highlights the company’s commitment to the disruptive healthcare innovation that can come from an interconnected, global startup ecosystem.

According to the Global Age Watch Index, 20 percent of the global population will be over 60 years of age by 2050. In addition, the prevalence and burden of chronic disease, which already accounts for around 70 percent of the global healthcare budget,¹ is increasing worldwide. Add to these realities the challenges of interoperability, privacy and security and the standardization of care, and the need for disruptive innovation on the global and local level is undeniably clear. 

“There has never been a greater need for connected, sustainable healthcare, and there has never been a greater opportunity for entrepreneurs and innovators to connect people, data and technologies to transform lives around the world,” said Jeroen Tas, CEO, Healthcare Informatics Solutions and Services, Philips. “We are excited to expand our partnership with 1776 and continue to drive the open innovation that a healthy, globally connected startup ecosystem can contribute to a healthier society.”

By bringing together startups working to shape the future of health, in addition to education, energy, transportation, money, food and security, the 1776 Challenge Cup and Challenge Festival provide an early glimpse of tomorrow’s innovations – and enable relationship building between traditional and nontraditional partners, as all stakeholders work to navigate global challenges in today’s digital information economy.

Startups will compete at local, regional and global levels, with the Challenge Festival tournament culminating in D.C. in June 2016. More than 80 startups will attend the week of events, which include mentor and investor meetings, industry trend discussions and a pitch competition.

“Challenge Cup is more than a competition — it is a growing movement of entrepreneurs and startup community leaders in cities ranging from Mexico City and London to Singapore and Nairobi, who believe entrepreneurship can help solve some of the world’s most complicated problems,” said 1776 co-founder Donna Harris. “We are proud to partner for the second year with Philips and the world’s leading startups to exemplify how, around the world and with even the most challenging issues, collaboration and open innovation can lead to meaningful change.”

In addition to its 1776 partnership, Philips supports local innovators and digital accelerator labs in Kenya and India and is testing proof-of-concept innovations in many more countries around the world. Together with leading universities, research institutes and entrepreneurs and in partnership with government and humanitarian organizations like UNICEF, Philips is delivering tablet and smartphone enabled mobile telehealth solutions for midwives to monitor at-risk pregnant women in Indonesia and an automated respiration monitor to help improve the diagnosis and treatment of childhood pneumonia in Africa and India .

A full roster of 1776 Challenge Cup and Challenge Festival speakers and events will be announced in the coming weeks, and the current schedule can be found here.

¹ World Economic Forum, EFPIA, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

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For further information, please contact:

Kathy O’Reilly
Philips Group Communications
(o) 978-659-2638 (mobile) 978-221-8919
Twitter: @kathyoreilly


About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2014 sales of EUR 21.4 billion and employs approximately 106,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at


About 1776:

1776 is a global incubator and seed fund that uncovers promising highly-scalable startups focused on solving the world’s most fundamental challenges and helps engineer their success. 1776 focuses on startups in the most broken, entrenched industries and sectors that impact millions of lives every day – specifically education, energy, health and cities. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., it is sparking a global movement of high-growth startups driving meaningful innovation through its Challenge Cup and Startup Federation, the premiere network of incubators throughout the world. For information, please visit or follow us on Twitter @1776.


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