What is Wild Card?

Wild Card builds game-changing life sciences companies. We challenge the best to help find solutions that will transform healthcare.

Every year, Wild Card builds two new ventures that break new ground, push boundaries and troubleshoot some of European healthcare’s greatest challenges. We attract the brightest talent, mentor founders-to-be and invest up to €1.5 million in the two most promising ventures.

Launched in 2017, Wild Card is backed by EIT Health – one of the largest healthcare networks in the world, counting 150 world-leading organisations as partners and supported by the European Union.

Who should consider applying


Small teams of up to 5 team members with a business idea, including start-ups


Professionals with an entrepreneurial mindset looking to join teams and other entrepreneurs to found a company

Daring disrupters apply today

The two challenge areas Wild Card 2022 is focused on are: mental health and early detection of cancer.

Wild Card is seeking the very best in Europe. If you’re a talented innovator with the following skills, knowledge and entrepreneurial appetite, we want to hear from you!

Wild Card journey

The programme follows a comprehensive format, taking individuals and small teams as participants through team formation (optional), training, need and market validation as well as rigorous stress-testing of the solution. In the end, EIT Health will invest in up to two best teams with business proposals. 

Stage 1. Deep dive: Spanning over one month in this first phase of the programme, participants will get to know each other, complete and/or form teams.  Those teams will then work on their projects and ideas with the support of mentors that will aid them to sharpen their proposals.  

Stage 2. Business Model Validation: Up to 8 successful teams from stage 1 will be invited to continue the journey on a 9-week, part-time acceleration programme, which will lead teams through the customer discovery process and business model validation. During this stage, participants will be tasked to validate key assumptions with regards to their proposal. The two-hour weekly sessions will be conducted online, and each team will be assigned dedicated US and European mentors to support them on the journey. 

Investment Pitch: Final pitch in front of EIT Health Panel where teams present their final proposals for investment. Up to two teams will be selected for investment.  

Wild Card Ventures: Following the incorporation into a start-up, if applicable, Wild Card ventures will be offered, access to EIT Health network and partners, lead mentor, organisation coaches,  ongoing support from EIT Health Project Manager and up to €750,000 funding/team/year.  See companies in our portfolio.

“In every interaction, our paradigms were broken, and we were presented with thought-provoking questions, newly discovered problems and subsequently, untapped solutions by the world’s leading industrial specialists. An amazing  experience!”



Apply stage icon

15 DECEMBER 2021 - 14 MARCH 2022


Apply as a team or as an individual with or without a big idea if you have interest, expertise or business know-how combined with a passion for the challenge topics.

Hackathon stage icon

6 JUNE - 8 JULY 2022


Admitted participants start the journey, complete their teams and with support of mentors develop a business proposal and pitch to secure their place in the next stage.

Validate stage icon

23 AUGUST - 24 OCTOBER 2022


Shortlisted teams begin a 9-week programme led by industry experts to validate the business proposals and pitch to the EIT Health Panel in late October 2022.

Venture stage icon



Up to two chosen teams will receive EIT Health support, resources and €1.5 million investment (grant-for-option) over the next two years to develop and establish their businesses.

Become a game-changer


Sign up to accept the challenge

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