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PRESS RELEASE: MIT Solve Announces 16 Brain Health Challenge Finalists

Finalists Chosen Out of Hundreds of Applications to Live Pitch During United Nations General Assembly Week in New York

Today MIT’s new Solve initiative announced the finalists for the Solve Challenge Finals in New York City during the United Nations General Assembly Week. Sixteen innovators and entrepreneurs were selected as finalists for the Brain Health Challenge and will pitch their solutions to a live audience and a panel of expert judges including Sarah Lenz Lock J.D., the Senior Vice President for Policy and the Executive Director of Global Council on Brain Health for the AARP, and Alvaro Fernandez, CEO & Editor-in-Chief of SharpBrains, on Sunday, September 17.

The finalists’ exciting and creative solutions provide technology-based solutions for improving brain health and mental resilience.

Just a few examples of the 2017 Brain Health Challenge finalists’ solutions include:

  • Coding Autism: An in-person coding boot camp that aims to empowers those on the autism spectrum to improve overall brain health, mental well-being, and mental resilience through education and employment in the technology industry.
  • YouthCare: A program that trains undergraduate students to provide care for Alzheimer’s patients to give primary caregivers respite time. YouthCare proposed an app that will reduce administrative costs and ease of communication for students and caregivers.
  • Autism Detection at Birth: A brain test for autism, which is based on a test that screens hearing impairment on 4,000,000 newborns a year. Modifying those hearing tests to also test autism would allow earlier treatment that decreases autism severity and increases the ability to join the workforce.
  • Tomo: A chatbot that helps manage the habits that keep people healthy. Tomo uses an anonymous, distributed buddy system, to help users help each other. Tomo is designed to provide scalable, personalized mental health support to the ~700 million people worldwide struggling with depression.

A full list of finalists’ solutions can be found below:

Solution Team

Solution Name

Digital Cognition Technologies (DCT)


JOOL Health


Beyond Conflict Innovation Lab

Psychological Geographies: Mapping Minds for Social Health


StrongMinds: Treating Depression at Scale in Africa

Harvard Medical School - Biomedical Informatics

Autism Detection at Birth


Augmented Reality Neurorehabilitation

Telepsychiatry Innovation Lab

Learn to Care

Hello Tomo Inc.


Bea Arthur and JB Rubinovitz

The Difference


Mimerse - Self-help VR therapy platform

Coding Autism: Navigating Adults with ASD to Tech Employment

Coding Autism

Sapien Labs

Neurolab Seed

The Youth Movement Against Alzheimer's


Project HEAL

Communities of HEALing

Emma Yang




Immediately following the live pitch session, the finalists chosen by the judges will be announced as Solver teams and join the Solve community to build partnerships with cross-sector leaders that help pilot, scale and implement their solutions. Along with joining the Solve community, the finalists have an opportunity to win incredible prizes including a mentorship prize curated by world-class cellist Yo-Yo Ma for Solver teams who present a solution based in arts and culture.

Solve is a community that brings together technologists, social entrepreneurs, business leaders, policymakers, researchers, and other change agents to unearth and implement solutions to specific, actionable challenges facing the world. More than 950 solutions from all over the world were submitted to Solve’s 2017 Global Challenges: (1) Brain Health, (2) Sustainable Urban Communities, (3) Women and Technology, and (4) Youth, Skills, and the Workforce of the Future. 

To attend the Solve Challenge Finals in New York City on September 17, apply for a press pass to the event here and view the schedule here. Additional details will be released in the weeks leading up to the Challenge Finals.

About Solve: 
Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that identifies and supports lasting solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. Solve is a community that brings together technologists, social entrepreneurs, business leaders, policymakers, researchers, and other change agents to unearth and implement solutions to specific, actionable challenges issued around the pillars of Economic Prosperity, Health, Learning, and Sustainability. Learn more

Press Contact:
Ken Meyer


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