Can ‘Shark Tank’ Solve The US Government’s Most Vexing Problems?

Eleven teams presented their best ideas to seasoned investors on Thursday morning at a rapid-fire pitch session in Washington, D.C. Over the past three months, the teams poured through volumes of customer research, sweated over prototypes and figured out how to sell their concept in just four minutes. Then, the investors peppered them with questions about shareholder engagement and return on investment before lending advice about how to refine the ideas and deciding whether to back the projects.

This isn’t a scene from an upcoming episode of ‘Shark Tank’ – it’s actually a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services exercise to elicit innovative ideas for reducing costs, improving services and solving some of the agency’s “most vexing problems.” The competitors were federal employees and the ‘Sharks’ were senior HHS leaders with the funding and manpower to introduce contestants’ most clever solutions to public health.

Read all about it at


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