The HHS Ventures Fund provides growth-stage funding and support to HHS employees with innovative ideas for how to dramatically improve their Office, Agency, or the Department’s ability to carry out its mission. The Ventures Fund gives Department employees the opportunity to take a proven but still early-stage idea to the next level of implementation.
The HHS Ventures Fund 2017 investing partners included
Immediate Office of the Secretary, HHS
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office of the Director
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Innovation Fund
National Institutes of Health, Office of the Director
Food and Drug Administration, Office of the Commissioner
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Office of the Administrator
What You Get with HHS Ventures Funding
Up to a maximum of $100,000 to go towards your project (you pitch for what you want)
Up to 15 months of support (as defined by the proposal
Guidance and technical support specific to project implementation needs
What the HHS Ventures Fund Requires
At least 50% of your time. This is particularly true for the Project Lead. Other team members may contribute less depending on their role.
Teams are generally able to operate freely on their own and manage their project through their own milestones. However, regular check-ins and reporting requirements do exist to keep the Ventures Fund staff aware of progress.
Types of Projects Supported by the Ventures Fund
We support the scaling and/or operationalization of tried and tested innovations.
The types of projects we support tend to be transformative to internal operations.
We support “riskier” projects. In fact, you’ll need to convince us that Ventures funding is needed.
The Ventures Fund is not for exploring project ideas (see our Ignite Accelerator for that). All projects applying for Ventures funding should have been prototyped and tested in some capacity and thus have sufficient evidence that it’s a good idea worth investing in. During your pitch, we will ask you to demo your beta product (if it’s a product) or walk us through the early version of the new service or process (if it’s a service or process you’re addressing).
We tend to support projects that are cross-cutting or have the very near-term potential of scaling across the Department.
We require Ventures funded projects to be managed and implemented using core principles of the IDEA Lab. These include:
Customer engagement throughout the process, and
Transparent task-tracking towards major milestones
Through our support of Ventures Fund project teams over the last few years, we’ve gained better insights into
1) The particular value the Ventures Fund plays within the Department; and
2) The particular strengths we have at the IDEA Lab to best support particular innovations.
We are continually refining our investment approach to ensure we have optimal impact and play a unique role in the ecosystem of internal funding streams.