AHF Doubles its 2022 i2 Investment! 
Project New Village and Urban Restoration Counseling Center are each awarded the $1 million milestone-based i2 grant.

San Diego, CA. January 5, 2023Following a final pitch from five finalists, hours of deliberation and months of one-on-one coaching, the Alliance Healthcare Foundation (AHF) board was faced with the question: “How can we accelerate the most good for our community, given the opportunities presented by five strong and deserving candidates?” Excitingly, the board made an unprecedented decision to double its investment for this funding cycle and award two $1 million milestone-based Innovation Initiative (i2) grants to both Project New Village and Urban Restoration Counseling Center, both based in San Diego. Each nonprofit organization will be supported with continued mentorship and incubation, and up to $1 million in milestone-based grants.

Alliance Healthcare Foundation’s mission is to advance health and wellness for the most marginalized communities in our region. With the Innovation Initiative (i2) Challenge Grant, the foundation seeks to close equity gaps and invest in transformative ideas that can achieve long-term, sustainable, positive community change.

“We don’t always get an opportunity to accelerate two incredible solutions that we feel will advance our mission meaningfully,” said Sarah Lyman, Executive Director, AHF. “By its very nature, the Innovation Initiative is high risk, high potential reward. We’ve had years in the past where it was more difficult to determine how $1 million would really move the needle with the various ideas presented. We’ve had other i2 cohorts – this being one of them – where the solutions proposed by the i2 finalists are so strong, we struggled to make a decision out of the recognition that more than one solution presented an opportunity to meaningfully advance our mission in significant ways. I’m thrilled that we made the decision to support two community-grown and led solutions that we hope will achieve scale and success for the communities they serve.”  

“This was a deeply rewarding experience, and we are so grateful to all the candidates for their clear passion and commitment to making the world a better place. A special note of gratitude also to the Resident Leaders who have been integral members of the evaluation panel throughout the process. Their experiences and knowledge added so much value to the process,” said Killu Sanborn, Alliance Board Trustee and Chairperson.

The 2022 i2 program is essentially an incubator program that includes 12-months of entrepreneurial education and customized mentoring through a partnership between AHF and global business accelerator, Nex Cubed. Based on relationships formed and progress made by the candidates during the program, there are clear pathways already identified to help move the awardees into the next phase of AHF i2 support.


Project New Village
Urban Restoration Counseling Center


Solving our most intractable health and wellness challenges requires innovative, transformative and sustainable solutions.

VIDEO: Informational Overview of the 2022 i2 Challenge Grant
VIDEO: Nex Cubed and AHF Partner to Pioneer a New Kind of Philanthropy

Application opens January 1, 2022, 8:00am PST
Launch event (YouTube Premiere with live chat for Q&A) January 11, 2022 PST
Application closes January 28, 2022, 5:00pm PST
Decision: January 2023

About this web page: Because of the length of the full description, we recommend using the hyperlinks in the table of contents below to get you to the sections you want to review or revisit. If you have questions that are not answered in this material, please email info@alliancehf.org.


Innovation Initiative (i2) – General Overview

2022 i2 Challenge Grant Summary

Want to print some or all of this? Download full summary here.


With our Innovation Initiative (i2) Alliance Healthcare Foundation seeks market-based and/or transformational systems-change solutions with the potential to . . .

  • improve access, quality and health outcomes
  • increase capacity
  • reduce costs

. . . for the most systemically marginalized and under-resourced populations in San Diego and/or Imperial counties.

One of the most efficient ways we can support population health and wellness improvement is by helping innovations succeed, scale, and achieve sustainability.

Welcome message from Sarah Lyman, Executive Director of Alliance Healthcare Foundation.


i2 is a $1 million milestone-based challenge grant which includes a 12-month mentorship journey culminating in a final pitch session to a panel of judges.


i2 is not a general operating grant or follow-on funding for an existing, well-established enterprise. 


Alliance Healthcare Foundation (AHF), based in San Diego, is a 501c3 private foundation advancing the health and wellness of under-resourced, systemically oppressed, and resilient communities in San Diego and Imperial counties.  Learn more about our history and work here.

Since 2010, one of our funding programs – Innovation Initiative (i2) – has supported promising new innovations aimed at transforming the current health paradigm of high cost and poor outcomes to improve quality, increase capacity, and reduce costs for the most marginalized and under-resourced populations in San Diego and/or Imperial counties.

For more of Alliance’s history, click here.

Back To Top


2-1-1 San Diego / Community Information Exchange (CIE)

2-1-1 San Diego was a new social safety service, but it needed better intake and data coordination between referral partners to truly support the community in real time. AHF was an original seed funder in 2011 for what has become San Diego’s multidisciplinary network of partners that use a shared language, resource database, and integrated technology platform to deliver enhanced community care planning that includes integrated data from multiple sources and enables bi-directional referrals to create a shared longitudinal record of individuals seeking health and social service help.

Interfaith Community Services / Recovery and Wellness Center
To fill the service gap for individuals going through recovery from addiction, AHF provided seed funding to Interfaith Community Services in 2016 to develop its Recovery and Wellness Center, which provides individuals 18 and over with Drug Medi-Cal or no insurance living in San Diego County a safe place to recover from addiction (short-term residential treatment). In its first three years, the Center became self-sustaining.

Champions for Health / Text4Baby
One of the first i2 grant challenge winners in 2010, Champions for Health conceived of an app to provide free text messages to under-resourced moms and moms-to-be with health, nutrition and safety information. The app ultimately was purchased by Wellpass which today still provides Text4Baby as a free service that continues to help new moms all over the world.

Somali Family Service of San Diego
Vaccination hesitation is pervasive in the refugee and immigrant communities of San Diego. AHF provided R&D funding in 2017 to Somali Family Service to develop a vaccination education and awareness program that uses virtual reality technology and culturally specific education to help caregivers see and learn about viruses (specifically MMR) and the purpose and benefit of vaccinations. Somali Family Service developed the technology and is now a semi-finalist in the XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling competition for follow-on funding to reskill under-resourced community health workers for digital technology, leverage their cultural and linguistic expertise and help close gaps in health outcomes. Watch video testimonial here.

For a full list of past i2 grantees, click here.

Back To Top

Deadline to apply: Friday, January 28, 2022

If you would like to prepare your application offline, here is the application template.

Watch an online tutorial for applying through Submittable (grant management system) here.

Application Tutorial – Using Submittable Grant Management System

Noted below are instructions on how to set-up and submit an application for the Alliance Healthcare Foundation 2022 Innovation Initiative (i2) Challenge Grant:

  1. First, you will need to open your web browser and go to submittable.com.
  2. On the top right-hand side of the page, you will see “sign in”.
  3. if you click on that button, you will then see a tab to sign up.
  4. Type in your account information and then click “sign up!”.
  5. Once you have an account, you can then click on the AHF Innovation Initiative (i2) application here. Make sure you are logged in. (Applications have closed.)
  6. You can then complete the application!
    1. You can invite contributors to help complete the application. On the top right of the application, you will see a link that says “Invite Collaborators”.
    2. Please note some questions have word count limits and require attachments.
    3. Questions with an asterisk mean they are required to be answered.
    4. You can save your application and return to it whenever you need by clicking on “save draft” at the bottom of the application.
    5. When you are ready to submit the application, click “apply”!
    6. You are done.

If you have any questions, please email info@alliancehf.org and include “i2” in the subject line.

Back To Top


The 2022 i2 Challenge Grant is a $1 million milestone-based grant awarded once a year to one entity through a rigorous evaluation process. Our overarching goal is to support the winner of the i2 Challenge Grant as they go on to secure additional funding; scale their solution for maximum benefit for their focus population, and become self-sustainable.

We believe that your zip code, race, socioeconomic status, gender or ability should not determine your life expectancy.

To activate on that belief, we are seeking sustainable market-based innovations and/or systems-change transformations aimed at closing gaps in health equity and wellness, which have been dramatically exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Examples of Closing Gaps (purely for illustration; not an exhaustive list):

  • Chronic condition prevention and/or management (diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular, cancer)
  • Access to health and wellness for those without broadband connectivity, transportation, health literacy, language fluency
  • Opportunity for wealth building at lowest income levels
  • Access to mental and behavioral health care for the under- and uninsured

Back To Top


Eligible i2 Challenge Grant lead applicants include:

  • Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.
  • Social Enterprises. A social enterprise can be a nonprofit, certified B Corp or for-profit organization that advances health equity and wellness of those in need.
  • Collaborations. Collaborations can be community-based programs or initiatives that are “housed” in an academic institution; a public-private team with an established tax identification, or a public-private-nonprofit team with an established tax identification. In the case of a collaboration among entities, there needs to be a lead applicant who will be authorized to bind all participant organizations, and who will receive any applicable milestone-contingent grant funds. Alliance Healthcare Foundation shall have no responsibility to allocate or apportion any grant monies among participant organizations or entities.Solving complex healthcare and social problems requires new and cross-sector thinking, including community voices. Preference will be given to innovations that include defined multi-sector partner(s) as co-applicant(s).
  • All applicants will be considered under the same criteria without regard to their type of entity. If a for-profit organization is the winner of the i2 Challenge Grant, that for-profit organization must issue to AHF a purchase right (a “Warrant”) that enables AHF to purchase a number of the most senior equity securities of the for-profit organization. The Warrant will be a condition of the grant and will remain in effect for a pre-determined period following the effective date of the Warrant. See more about this here.

Eligible proposals must:

  • Focus on root cause solutions rather than simply addressing symptoms
  • Have a clear market-based or systems-change sustainability plan that is not reliant on ongoing grants or philanthropic fundraising when scaled
  • Involve those closest to the social problem in determining the solution
  • Demonstrate clear and measurable improved health outcomes and reduced disparities for constituents
  • Directly address health disparities through an explicit equity lens

Address one of the following:

  • Systemic Problems in the healthcare system, such as
    • Expanding access to quality healthcare resources to all (i.e., navigation, care coordination, cultural competency or removing barriers such as transportation, health literacy, language fluency, remote monitoring, telehealth)
    • Elimination of bias within health systems (i.e., integrated care, fair financing, incorporating social determinants of health, cultural competency, language accessibility)
  • Wholistic Chronic Condition Prevention & Management, such as:
    • Leveraging technology to improve outcomes; reduce re-admission; improve adherence, etc.
    • Eliminating environmental hazards that exasperate health disparities
    • Improving access to quality and effective behavioral health services

Back To Top



The following entities are not eligible to apply for the 2022 i2 Challenge Grant:

  • Mature entities that are seeking general operating funds
  • Entities without a specific focus on a vulnerable or historically marginalized/under-resourced populations
  • Entities that seek to profit from historically marginalized/under-resourced populations
  • Entities without an operating focus in San Diego and/or Imperial counties
  • Individuals
  • Entities formed under the laws of a country other than the United States
  • Past i2 grantees
  • Entities that are developing pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, health food, fitness service, or medical devices requiring FDA approval unless the technology is part of an evidenced-based or novel innovation that is a well-supported approach to one of the eligibility criteria above.




i2 Application Posted Friday, January 7, 2022
i2 Kickoff Event Friday, January 14, 2022
i2 Application Due Friday, January 28, 2022
Up to 25 Applicants Selected Friday, February 11, 2022
Social Enterprise Start-Up Workshop(s) Friday, February 25, 2022
Phase 1 Presentations Friday, April 22, 2022
Up to 10 Semi-Finalists Selected Friday, April 29, 2022
Phase 2 Presentations Friday, June 24, 2022
Up to 5 Finalists Selected Friday, July 1, 2022
Final Presentation Friday, December 16, 2022
i2 Winner Decision Made Friday, January 13, 2023

*NOTE: Timelines for the i2 Innovation Challenge Grant program may be adjusted with sufficient notice.

Back To Top


i2 journey diagram v2


PHASE 1: Proposal & Planning (January – April)

The application period opens January 1, 2022 and closes on January 28, 2022. The AHF i2 Challenge Grant evaluation team will confirm that each submission meets the basic requirements and grant program goals before advancing to the i2 Challenge Grant Scoring and Evaluation Review Panel. During this phase, Alliance Healthcare Foundation will include internal and external reviewers with relevant expertise to help assess each application. Up to 25 applicants will be invited to continue in the i2 Challenge.

The selected organizations will have the opportunity to refine their ideas and develop/strengthen their business models.  AHF in collaboration with an Innovation Partner will offer an optional 1-day (or multi-day) “start-up” workshop for all 25 organizations at no cost to the applicants.  Applicants will be offered participation stipends to attend.

The “start-up” workshop(s) may include topics such as:

  • business model validation
  • customer experience/value proposition
  • financial modeling/pricing
  • measuring impact
  • intellectual property protection
  • how to pitch

The intent of the workshop(s) is to provide an overview of these concepts that will give the participating organizations a better understanding of what to work on to make their business more successful.

At the conclusion of Phase 1, the 25 organizations will present an early demonstration of their solution and/or a skeleton business model.  Up to 10 organizations will move on to the next phase of i2.

PHASE 2: Validating (April – June)

This phase of the i2 Challenge Grant will provide up to 10 organizations the opportunity to validate their solutions with customers to demonstrate early traction and product-market fit.

The goals for applicants in this phase include:

  • functioning prototype of their innovative solution
  • access to their focus population and have collected data that validates their solution with customers/clients, and demonstrate early traction and product-market fit
  • able to make a “quick pitch” that describes their solution, lessons learned, and next steps for building/scaling their solution

At the conclusion of this phase, the organizations will prepare a 3-page summary of their business (including what they have learned during the validation phase) and present a quick pitch deck to AHF staff, Innovation Partner, community representatives, and the full AHF Program Committee.  Up to five organizations will advance to Phase 3.

Phase 3: Building (July – December)

During the last phase of the challenge, the top five organizations will each be awarded a $20,000 grant to support the applicant’s Phase 3 building process. Applicants will be paired by the Innovation Partner with a mentor(s) and receive customized coaching to demonstrate further progress towards business development. Please note that taking advantage of the business coaching element is not a requirement of this process. It is intended to be an optional capacity building opportunity fully funded by Alliance Healthcare Foundation for all interested finalists. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) may also be assigned to supplement the work of the mentor(s). In terms of technical assistance and coaching, this final stage of the i2 Challenge Grant is where AHF plans to invest the most resources.

The goals for the finalists in this phase include:

  • strong business model and business plan
  • identified business/organizational deficits which they are actively working to address
  • continued rigorous market testing with the focus population and refinement of the solution as needed
  • persuasive and polished pitch for potential investors

Finalist Pitch Round

In December, the five organizations will give a final pitch to AHF staff, Innovation Partner, AHF board members, program committee members, community stakeholders, SMEs, and potentially a Blue-Ribbon panel.  The AHF Board of Directors will have an opportunity to ask questions of the Innovation Partner and SMEs before making a final vote to determine the winner of the $1 million grant. The final scoring and evaluation of finalists will include a required 15-minute in-person presentation, followed by 15 minutes of Q&A, with weighting as follows:

  • In-Person Presentation – 20% of overall score
  • Scoring Rubric for Written Plan – 80% overall score

The in-person presentation is at the sole cost of the grant applicant.  Alliance’s Board of Trustees will make the final determination after the in-person presentations, which will be held privately (not open to the general public). The applicant selected for the $1 million i2 Innovation milestone-contingent Challenge Grant will be announced in January 2023, and the identity of the selected grantee will be publicly posted at alliancehf.org.

To receive the full amount of the grant, the grantee will need to meet each milestone specified in the grant agreement entered into between the Alliance Healthcare Foundation and the Grantee.

Alliance Healthcare Foundation has no obligation to fund the full i2 Challenge Grant amount if all milestones are not met.

Back To Top


nex cubed logo_white background


We are grateful for the partnership of the health, wellness and innovation communities of San Diego. The business accelerator, Nex Cubed, has been selected to serve as AHF’s 2022 i2 Innovation Partner.


Role of Innovation Partner

  • Serve as a thought partner on eligibility criteria, evaluation process and customized coaching program.
  • Help source social entrepreneurs for application process.
  • Develop and deliver a 1-day or multi-day workshop (content and speakers) for the 25 applicants selected during Phase 1
  • Participate in evaluation of applicants at conclusion of Phase 1 (25 to 10 applicants); Phase 2 (10 to 5 applicants), and Phase 3 (5 to winner).
  • Provide 1:1 mentoring and/or coaching to i2 finalists to improve their business models, demonstrate meaningful progress towards building/implementing their solution and perfect their presentations for funding
  • Serve as a thought partner on the determination of milestones for the final i2 Challenge Grant winner.

Welcome message from Marlon Evans, CEO, Nex Cubed


We also wish to acknowledge the following Innovation Affiliates for their marketing assistance in helping spread the news of the i2 Challenge Grant so that we are able to make the grant applications accessible to as many eligible enterprises as possible.

logo page



Innovation Partner, Nex Cubed will be providing the i2 workshops and mentoring throughout the i2 Journey.

Phase 1 – Planning
Calendar of workshops

Nex Cubed has created a curated playbook and curriculum of topic-specific modules for early stage companies. The modules are targeted towards founders who are seeking to refine their initial business concepts. Topics include product market fit, customer discovery, building an MVP, sales, legal issues for startups, marketing and branding, operations, and fundraising. Each week consists of a speaker series, homework assignment, cohort discussions, and 1-1 mentoring sessions. In addition, there are dedicated advisors assigned to each startup who helps shepherd them through the program. Participants will also receive access to Nex Cubed’s dedicated startup Slack workspace to collaborate with past accelerator alumni, mentors, and advisors.

At the end of the first phase, Nex Cubed will provide oversight and guidance in collaboration with the Alliance Healthcare Foundation on the best companies to advance to the next phase of the program. Nex Cubed will employ its proven best practices to evaluate startups that were built and refined. Successful traits for a startup include, but are not limited to: coachability, founder success history, DEI considerations, scalability and feasibility potential for startup success, overall market size, commercial traction, and fundraising history.

Phase 2 – Validation

During the second phase of the program, when up to 10 startups are selected, Nex Cubed will provide support by leveraging its best practices derived from its own programs. The curriculum of Phase 2 is more customized than Phase 1. Each team gets a dedicated advisor who works one-on-one with them each week to help refine their plans. In addition to one-on-one sessions, there would be several cohort sessions and workshops relevant to all startups at this stage in the program. There is some focus on their pitch in order to make it to the next round. There may be occasional speakers on topics deemed relevant to all startups. Lectures from speakers can include, but are not limited to: refining vision statements, determining value propositions, developing a sales and marketing approach, deploying go-to-market strategies, business model evaluation, and development of sales and investment pitch materials. This will be done with the end goal of each company validating their solutions with customers and partners to demonstrate early commercial traction and product market fit.

The culmination of phase two will result in a pitch presentation delivered by each of the participating companies to a panel of experts composed of Alliance Healthcare Foundation Executives and Subject Matter Experts. Nex Cubed may assist in the recruitment of the panel of judges and develop a predetermined evaluation criteria that will allow for unbiased evaluation of each of the startup companies. To prepare these companies, Nex Cubed will host routine pitch practice sessions with each of the startups to ensure they are putting their best foot forward to the panel of judges.

Phase 3 – Building Support

Phase 3 continues to offer dedicated support to the startups through customized, one-on-one mentorship by dedicated advisors. These advisors further refine the elements of the business. The focus starts to transition to creating a solid story and pitch that clearly defines the problem, solution and differentiated position of the startup. There may be occasional speakers on topics deemed relevant to all startups.

Nex Cubed will provide a minimum of one dedicated advisor per company for the duration of phase 3. The advisor will meet with their paired company on a weekly basis with the goal of market testing the companies solutions, refining their value propositions, clarifying their ideal customer personas, as well as preparing the company for growth-stage scaling of their business via streamlining their operations for repeatable success.

In addition, Nex Cubed will host a series of customized presentations that pertain to the current state of affairs for the U.S. health and wellness market and are relevant to the five finalists. Topics covered include, but are not limited to: U.S. Healthcare Delivery System Overview (Providers, Payors & Patients, and Policy & Regulatory Oversight), Provider & Payer Types and Business Model Imperatives, Healthcare Regulatory & Policy Pathways, Pharma: Industry Structure and Interplay within the Delivery System, Payment Models, U.S. Venture Capital Markets and Fundraising Considerations. Nex Cubed will also facilitate panel discussions with industry experts from strategic health and wellness corporations and notable healthcare investors. Past guests included members of Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis, Sharp Health, UnityPoint Health Ventures, ResMed, Humana, Sway Ventures, Tech Coast Angels, and more.

Nex Cubed will also open up its extended investor network of over 50 investors that includes notable firms such as Kaiser Permanente Ventures, Crosscut Ventures, Sierra Ventures, 8VC, Eniac Ventures, Boehringer Ingelheim Ventures, Flare Capital Partners, Healthy Ventures, and much more.

Nex Cubed will also allow the participants to access its extended mentor network of over 50 industry professionals that include firms such as AWS, Anthem, Optum, UnitedHealth Group, Sharp Health, GE Healthcare, Medidata Solutions, and more. Participants will also continue to maintain access to the Nex Cubed Startup Slack Workspace.

At the closing of this phase of the program, Nex Cubed will work with each of the companies to prepare the companies for their demo day and showcase presentations. In a group setting, Nex Cubed will deliver a presentation to highlight the best practices for delivering a demo day presentation. Nex Cubed will also facilitate a series of pitch practice sessions with the startups’ dedicated advisors and internal Nex Cubed team members. Furthermore, Nex Cubed will provide ad hoc marketing support to ensure a high level of professionalism and detail for each of the presentations. With respect to presentation evaluations, Nex Cubed will facilitate the building of a predetermined scoring rubric to evaluate the companies to ensure fair assessment of each company.

After the 2022 i2 Challenge Grant recipient has been selected . . .

At the conclusion of the program, and when a grantee of the i2 Challenge has been selected, Nex Cubed will continue to provide ongoing support. As is often said at Nex Cubed, “Once you join Nex Cubed, you’re family… for life.” Nex Cubed provides ongoing support and resources post program to all startups including office hours, document templates, recordings of all sessions, speaker materials, resource guides, community tools, networking opportunities, and invitations to events.

This support includes, but is not limited to: ongoing fundraising support by connecting the startup to Nex Cube’s extended network to introduce the company to potential funders. On an as needed basis, Nex Cubed will also provide support in crafting and reviewing fundraising terms to ensure favorable terms for the startup. It will continue to provide access to its extended mentor network to assist in ad hoc support when the startup encounters business challenges; needs a professional opinion, and provide strategic advice.

Furthermore, Nex Cubed will continue to offer its various platform service perks such as the Slack Workspace, GAN, Stripe, AWS, and more. The winner will also be able to access Nex Cube’s office space in San Diego, which overlooks the La Jolla Cove, on an ad hoc basis such as taking periodic meetings with strategic individuals.

Back To Top



The eligible submissions will be reviewed using a distinct scoring rubric for each phase of the challenge, focused on the following criteria. (Note: initial proposals submitted will not be expected to meet all criteria from the beginning of the i2 Journey, however these are the core elements AHF will be looking for to make a final decision after the year-long process):

Evaluation Elements Details




Is the approach informed and supported by the community it wishes to serve?


Does the solution address community and stakeholder needs, engaging them in an ongoing, inclusive way to ensure long-term impact?


Will the solution meaningfully deliver the desired “results” outlined above?


Has the product demonstrated that it is solving a real pain point / addressing a real need for customers?

How deep/wide is the potential positive impact for marginalized populations, and how would this be measured?

Is there an explicit racial equity lens?

Is there an explicit social equity/justice lens?




Does the team have the experience, capacity, creativity, and understanding of local conditions to mitigate risk; deliver the intended results, and scale successfully?


Is the plan and budget practical with a clear and reasonable path to sustainability?

Evidence Based



Does the proposal present reasonable evidence that the innovation will yield concrete results for customers?


Is the solution well-positioned to adapt to other contexts to impact more people over time?

Scale and Sustainability



Does the business model demonstrate clear potential and strong evidence for significant growth and scale?


Is there a clear and feasible sustainability plan?

Market Understanding (Acceptance and Readiness)

Does the business plan/management team understand the size of the total addressable market (TAM)?


Does the organization/management team have evidence of customer adoption, loyalty, etc.?

Does the business model describe trends that make the solution possible; focus on why the product is defensible; and display unique market insight?

Management Team

Is the management team representative of the community/customers that will be most impacted by the solution?


Does the management team have a proven track record of success?

Does the governance structure demonstrate inclusive decision-making?

Does the management team support its employees (i.e. benefits, professional development, flexibility, etc.)?


What has our experience been guiding the team through the i2 process?


Does the management team have the expertise needed to be successful or the ability to source it?

Do they accept constructive feedback and modify as needed?

VIDEO: Evaluation elements further defined by Karen Winston, Director of Communications, Alliance Healthcare Foundation.

i2 Scoring Criteria by Phase  Details
Proposal (TBD → 25 applicants)
  • Community-Informed
  • Impactful
  • Feasible
Planning (25 → 10 applicants)
  • Community-Informed
  • Impactful
  • Feasible
  • Scale and Sustainability
Validating (10 → 5 applicants)
  • Community-Informed
  • Impactful
  • Feasible
  • Scale and Sustainability
  • Evidence Based
  • Market Understanding
Building (5 → i2 Awardee)
  • Community-Informed
  • Impactful
  • Feasible
  • Scale and Sustainability
  • Evidence Based
  • Market Understanding
  • Management Team
  • Coachability

Back To Top



Judges and evaluators will be sourced from the following stakeholder groups:

  • Alliance’s Board of Trustees and Program Committee
  • i2 Innovation Partner – Nex Cubed
  • Community residents with lived experiences from a variety of historically marginalized, under-resourced communities
  • Subject Matter Experts in areas of health and wellness, pertinent to the solutions presented by the semi-finalists

Back To Top



Compensation during the 2022 i2 Journey

We recognize the time commitment that i2 applicants will be making to participate in the i2 Journey culminating in the final pitch in December 2022. To compensate each applicant for this time, AHF will be providing stipend funding at each formal phase of the Journey as follows:

  • Phase 1 (up to 25 applicants) – $1,000
  • Phase 2 (up to 10 applicants) – $5,000
  • Phase 3 (up to 5 finalists) – $20,000

In the case where no applicant receives a score of at least 75/100 or higher, Alliance Healthcare Foundation reserves the right not to select any applicant to receive the i2 Challenge Grant.

Funding for the i2 Challenge Winner will be Contingent on Meeting Milestones

AHF will select one i2 grantee who will be eligible to receive up to a total of $1 million in grant payments to use for developing and scaling the proposed solution, contingent upon meeting certain milestones along the way that support and provide evidence towards an innovative, sustainable, and scalable solution aimed at improving health outcomes and reducing disparities for under-resourced populations. The impact must specifically target San Diego and/or Imperial counties (although it can have additional broader reach with scaling).

All proposed solutions must have a clear financial sustainability pathway with timeline that is not reliant on ongoing grant funding once implemented and scaled. Alliance Healthcare Foundation is committed to supporting efforts that are grounded in health equity (i.e., focus on marginalized/under-resourced communities, culturally-sensitive practices, etc.).

Recognizing that solving the most intractable healthcare and social problems requires new and cross-sector thinking, including community voices. Preference will be given to innovations that include defined multi-sector partner(s) as co-applicant(s).

Requirements Specific to For-Profit Applicants

As a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization, AHF’s mission is to support and catalyze meaningful positive impact for vulnerable populations. It is the responsibility of AHF to ensure that its charitable dollars are stewarded with integrity for the benefit of vulnerable populations, now and in the future. AHF recognizes that its funding of i2 solutions that have a for-profit participant or partners will likely increase the enterprise value of the for-profit entity. It is AHF’s intent to replenish some of its charitable funding sources via warrants issued from participating for-profit entities to help ensure AHF’s mission and support of vulnerable populations and non-profit organizations can continue into the future.

If a for-profit organization receives a grant from AHF’s Innovation Fund, that for-profit organization must issue to Alliance Healthcare Foundation a purchase right (a “Warrant”) that enables AHF to purchase a number of the most senior equity securities of the for-profit organization equal to 20% of AHF’s contribution at the time the Warrant is exercised. The purchase price at the time the Warrant is exercised shall be discounted 10% from the amount priced at the next qualified equity financing or if public, from the market price at the date the warrant is issued. The Warrant will be a condition of the grant and will remain in effect for a period of ten (10) years following the effective date of the Warrant.


Back To Top



The selected i2 Innovation Grantee will be eligible to receive grant funding of up to $1 million, which will be distributed to the Grantee in tranches contingent on the Grantee achieving defined milestones set forth in the grant agreement entered into by the Alliance Healthcare Foundation and the Grantee. Milestones will be formalized as an exhibit to the grant agreement and derived from the contents of applicant’s proposed final plan as described in its in-person presentation.

The Grantee will receive: (a) access to Alliance Healthcare Foundation’s facility located in San Diego, CA for project meetings, space allowing and reserved ahead of time, and in accordance with current public health guidelines; (b) mentorship from experienced executives in partnership with our Innovation Partner, and (c) exposure to other funders and stakeholders.

In the case where no applicant receives a score of at least 75/100 or higher, Alliance Healthcare Foundation reserves the right not to select any applicant to receive the i2 Challenge Grant.

By submitting an application, you as an applicant agree to these i2 Innovation Challenge Grant Award Terms & Conditions in full which each applicant should read in advance of any grant submission. Applicants may submit only one application per organization.

A prospective grant applicant will not be eligible to submit an i2 Challenge Grant application and participate in the i2 competitive grant process if it does not affirmatively agree to abide by the Terms & Conditions, specifically including that the selected grantee must meet agreed upon milestones before the grantee will receive the full grant amount and that a for-profit organization grantee (as the solution proposer or partner) must issue Warrants to Alliance Healthcare Foundation, to be utilized in furtherance of AHF’s charitable mission and purpose. A sample of the warrant agreement can be viewed here.

By submitting an application, you as an applicant represent, warrant and covenant to AHF that you have read these Terms  & Conditions, and the descriptions and other content included in the i2 Challenge Grant application, in full and understand them, and further that all information and materials submitted and contained in the application (collectively, including without limitation ideas, discoveries, know-how, inventions, proposals, plans, designs and developments and any versions or derivatives of the foregoing, “Submitted Materials”) (a) are complete, accurate, true and current in all respects, (b) are exclusively owned by you the applicant, and that you have all rights, authorizations and consents necessary to provide such Submitted Materials to AHF and to grant rights to AHF to use such Submitted Materials in furtherance of AHF’s mission, and (c) will not, and any and all permitted uses will not, infringe or violate any laws, regulations or third party rights.

By submitting an application, you as an applicant further agree that if you and your application fails to meet all applicable grant-related milestones, you hereby authorize and grant to AHF a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license for AHF to use, practice, copy, modify and otherwise exploit any Submitted Materials in connection with AHF’s mission.

By submitting an application, you as an applicant agree that the Submitted Materials shall not include or involve (and such applicant will not transmit or disseminate or permit the transmission or dissemination of): any discriminatory, defamatory, disparaging, threatening, abusive or otherwise objectionable content; any content that violates the rights of any party; any content that violates any applicable AHF or i2 terms, rules, policies or procedures, or any applicable laws or regulations; or any content that includes or could trigger any harmful code (or other harmful or unauthorized materials).  In addition, you as an applicant agree that you will not engage in, or permit, any of the following conduct: make any statement related to AHF, i2 or any other applicant that, in AHF’s opinion, is false, misleading, unauthorized, disparaging or otherwise harmful or inappropriate; use any name or trademarks of AHF or i2 in any marketing or publicity without AHF’s prior written consent in each instance; or engage in any negligent, harmful, dangerous, threatening, abusive, infringing, discriminatory, unethical or illegal activities in connection with i2 or AHF.

Except with respect to seeking preliminary injunctive relief in a court of competent jurisdiction in connection with the protection or enforcement of intellectual property rights, any dispute, claim, cause of action or proceeding arising out of or relating to i2 (or the application or award process) shall be resolved by mandatory, binding arbitration in accordance with the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association.  The arbitration shall be conducted in San Diego, California. The arbitration award shall be final and exclusive, and the prevailing party in the arbitration may file an action in court to confirm and to enforce the arbitration award.  Any dispute, claim, cause of action or proceeding arising out of or relating to i2 (or the application or award process) shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action.

You as an applicant must execute and return, and the receipt of any grant award (or other recognition) by an applicant from AHF is conditioned upon and subject to such applicant executing and returning, AHF’s designated liability and publicity release.  The liability release will include that you as an applicant, to the maximum extent permissible under applicable law, release AHF and its officers, directors, employees, staff and agents (collectively, “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action of any kind arising out of or relating to participation in any i2 program, prize or application process, including without limitation any claim relating to any AHF programs or activities that may be similar to or related to any Submitted Materials (or any program or activities described or contemplated therein).  By submitting an application, you as an applicant acknowledge that Released Parties have neither made nor are in any manner responsible for any warranty, representation or guarantee of any kind related to or arising from any i2 program, grant award or application process.

AHF reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any applicant that AHF finds or reasonably suspects to be acting in violation of any applicable i2 terms, rules, policies or procedures.  If for any reason an i2 program is not reasonably capable of running as planned, AHF reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the i2 program, or any portion thereof, at any time.

These terms and conditions and those of the grant and warrant cannot be modified or changed except in a writing executed by applicant and AHF.

# # #


Back To Top



Q: What is i2?

A:  i2 is short for Innovation Initiative, a $1 million challenge grant which includes a 12-month mentored journey culminating in a final pitch session to a panel of judges.

Q: What kind of grant is i2?

A: The 2022 i2 Challenge Grant is a $1 million milestone-based grant awarded once a year to one entity through a rigorous evaluation process.

Q: How will each phase be scored? 

A:  Each phase of the i2 Journey is scored using a separate set of criteria and metrics. Criteria that we will be reviewing include community-informed, impact, feasibility, evidence supported, scale and sustainability, market understanding, and management team. The scoring metrics will be determined based on the mix and nature of applicants at each phase. Scoring per phase will be shared with applicants prior to the start of each phase and are also available in the Evaluation and Scoring Considerations section above.

Q: What are the milestones for funding?

A: Milestones will be formalized as an exhibit to the grant agreement and derived from the contents of applicant’s proposed final plan as described in its in-person presentation.

Q: Can anyone apply?

A:  No. Applicants must be either a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization; social enterprise, and/or a collaboration of multiple entities with a lead applicant. Individuals are not eligible.

Q: What is health equity?

A: “Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.” Definition from Robert Wood Johnson.

Q: What are health disparities?

A: “Health disparities are differences in health or in the key determinants of health (such as education, safe housing, and freedom from discrimination) that adversely affect marginalized or excluded groups. Disparities in health and in the key determinants of health are how we measure progress toward health equity.” Definition from Robert Wood Johnson.

Q: What are Social Determinants of Health (SDoH)?

A: “Social determinants of health (SDOH) are the conditions in the environments where people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.” Definition from U.S. DHHS. We believe that 80-90% of an individual’s overall wellbeing is determined by the social determinants of health and 10-20% is determined by medical, clinical care.

Q: Are the workshops a requirement for participation?

A: The workshops are not a requirement for participation and are optional for participants. They are a valuable resource for you as you build your business model and are led by subject matter experts. (There is no charge to the i2 applicants or finalists.)

Q: Are international organizations eligible to apply?

A: Applicants must have a U.S. federal tax ID and the solution must be piloted and/or delivered for positive social impact in San Diego and/or Imperial counties.

Q: May groups of individuals apply?

A: The lead applicant must have a U.S. federal tax ID. Individuals are not eligible to apply.

Q: Are government entities eligible to apply?

A: Government entities are eligible to apply so long as the solution is designed for positive social impact in San Diego and/or Imperial counties.

Q: Are there any restrictions on how the $1 million award may be spent?

A:  The i2 Challenge Grant is milestone-based. Subsequently, the award tranches will be project & budget informed. Details for the spend will be customized to the grantee’s innovation plan in coordination with Alliance and team of advisors.

Q: How long is the grant period for the i2 awardee?

A: The grant period will be customized based on the needs and phasing of the specific solution proposed. Most prior i2 awardees have ranged from grant periods of 1-4 years.

Back To Top