“Stand on the “x” in the center of the stage. Watch the timer. You have three minutes!” Those are the words I heard as I walked onto the intimidating SXSW stage. Then, it hit me. I was in the perfect place, standing in front of an audience including eight leading children’s hospitals who were there because they care about kids. As I worked to calm my nerves, I reminded myself they were there to learn about new innovations to help children. I took a deep breath and started to tell them about Prapela.
The Impact Pediatric Health Pitch Competition at SXSW is well known among pediatric innovators. The first IPH SXSW competition was held in 2015 to foster innovation in pediatric solutions. It fills a critical need, because the smaller size of the pediatric market does not attract early stage investors. Prapela applied in 2018 and was rejected. However, the progress we’ve made since then with SVS convinced us that 2019 could be our year. So, we tried again. With fingers crossed, I hit “submit” on December 12th and then waited as the weeks passed. Then, on January 29th we got word that Prapela was one of 12 finalists from a field of 100 applicants. We were going to Austin.