Mission Daybreak announces Phase 1 awards

Mission Daybreak announces Phase 1 awards

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs names 30 finalists and 10 Promise Award recipients in the $20 million grand challenge to reduce Veteran suicides.

Suicide is a serious public health issue. While suicide can affect all Americans, it has a disproportionate impact on the Veteran community. The problem is complex, with a multitude of risk and protective factors that affect every individual differently — and the unique nature of the Veteran experience can often make Veterans particularly vulnerable.

This week, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced the 30 finalists and 10 Promise Award recipients in Phase 1 of Mission Daybreak, a $20 million grand challenge to reduce Veteran suicides. Mission Daybreak is part of VA’s 10-year strategy to end Veteran suicide through a comprehensive, public health approach.

Suicide has no single cause, and no single strategy can end this complex problem. That’s why Mission Daybreak is advancing a diversity of promising solutions — and encouraging partnership and mentorship to close the gap between concept and viability.

The 30 finalists each received $250,000 and advanced to the Phase 2 virtual accelerator program. In recognition of their solutions, an additional 10 teams each received a Promise Award of $100,000. To ensure solutions met the diverse needs of Veterans, multidisciplinary panels of reviewers and judges assessed submissions according to the official evaluation criteria.

More than three-quarters of finalist teams and Promise Award winners include a Veteran or Veteran family member. Several finalists are addressing lethal means safety, and nearly one-third of award-winning solutions seek to integrate with or build off the Veterans Crisis Line. A number of finalist and Promise Award solution concepts use advanced technologies, including extended reality and machine learning.

Finalists advance to Phase 2 virtual accelerator

The Phase 2 accelerator is designed to help the 30 finalists develop ambitious but achievable roadmaps for prototyping, iteration, testing, and evaluation. Technology partners supporting the accelerator include Amazon and Microsoft. Over the course of eight weeks, the finalists will have access to a range of resources, including custom synthetic VA datasets, as well as virtual interactive learning modules from experts focusing on topics such as human-centered design.

In November, finalists will present their solutions to key stakeholders, investors, and partners at Demo Day, a live pitch event. Phase 2 will award $11.5 million in prizes: Two first-place winners will each receive $3 million, three second-place winners will each receive $1 million, and five third-place winners will each receive $500,000.

Meet the finalists

  • BioMojo
  • Code of Support Foundation
  • Cogitativo
  • Continued Service Network
  • Early Alert
  • Even Health
  • EverMind
  • Metastage
  • Mindstrong
  • NeuroFlow
  • One Meaningful Act
  • Overwatch Project
  • OxfordVR
  • Polaris Genomics
  • ReflexAI
  • SameGrain
  • Sentinel
  • Stop Soldier Suicide
  • Team BraveMind
  • Team DSS
  • Team Guidehouse
  • Team IntelliDyne
  • Team LMI
  • Team SoKat
  • Televeda
  • Unite Us
  • Vara Safety
  • VETSTORE Partnership

Meet the Promise Award winners

  • Arkansas Nurse-Led Academic Community Partnership Innovation (ANACP)
  • Crisis Text Line
  • LexisNexis Risk Solutions/Public Consulting Group
  • OBT Development Group
  • Oui Therapeutics
  • Project Overwatch
  • RAS Innovation
  • Sound Off
  • Voi
  • Wavy Warrior

Learn more about the winning solutions on the Mission Daybreak website, and sign up for the challenge newsletter to receive updates on the accelerator and Demo Day.