Johnson & Johnson Innovation Launches Veterans Lead QuickFire Challenge Series aiming to Advance Healthcare Solutions by and for Veterans

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., June 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Johnson & Johnson Innovation together with the Johnson & Johnson Office of Military and Veterans Affairs today are introducing a two-part Veterans Lead QuickFire Challenge series with the ambition of advancing innovation that could benefit the military community.

The first challenge in the series launches today. Together with Bunker Labs, a national nonprofit organization that aims to equip the military-connected community with the network, tools, and opportunities needed to launch and grow successful businesses, the Veterans Lead QuickFire Challenge: Innovations by Vets invites U.S. Veteran1 innovators and military spouses/legal partners2 to submit potentially ground-breaking ideas in all aspects of human healthcare. Specific areas of focus for the challenge include potential solutions aimed at advancing pharmaceuticals, consumer healthcare, health technologies, medical devices, or cross-sector initiatives.

A second challenge, Veterans Lead QuickFire Challenge: Innovations for Vets, will launch later in June. For this challenge, innovators will be invited to submit potentially ground-breaking ideas that aim to directly address the unique healthcare needs of the military community including cardiovascular disease,3 kidney disease,4 oncology,5 orthopedic and musculoskeletal disease,6 physical trauma management,7 respiratory health,8 and vision loss.9

For each challenge, the innovator(s) with the best idea, technology, or potential solution will receive funding from a total of up to $250,000 in grants, access to resources and programming through the Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS ecosystem, and mentorship from experts across the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies.

“As a Veteran myself, I know firsthand how military members provide services and aid to people in need in America and around the globe. The Veterans Lead QuickFire Challenge series aims to tap into both the bedrock of Veteran entrepreneurs as well as uncover solutions from innovators across the healthcare spectrum with the potential to meet the unique healthcare challenges the military community faces,” said John Perez, Head, Military & Veterans Affairs, Johnson & Johnson.

As of 2018, there are nearly 18 million Veterans in the United States.10 American military Veterans are nearly twice as likely to be self-employed compared with non-Veterans and are majority owners in nine percent of all businesses nationwide.11 After their time in the service, many Veterans face healthcare challenges at disproportionate rates compared with their civilian counterparts.12 Veterans are significantly more likely to develop multiple chronic health conditions in their lifetime compared to non-Veterans.13

For more information about entering the challenges and entry guidelines, visit: The timelines to enter each QuickFire Challenge are:

  • Veterans Lead QuickFire Challenge: Innovations by Vets: June 2 to Aug. 20, 2021
  • Veterans Lead QuickFire Challenge: Innovations for Vets: June 23 to Sep. 17, 2021

Qualifying entries will be evaluated and the awardees will be selected later this year.

Johnson & Johnson is proud to lead in support of the military-connected community: from military service members to veterans to military families and military & veteran caregivers. Through the power of our presence, collaborations and partnerships around the world, we are committed to helping keep this community healthy and enabling them to bring their unique experiences and strengths to the world.

The QuickFire Challenge platform was developed with the aim to empower and enable potential ground-breaking science and health solutions by encouraging students, entrepreneurs, researchers and start-up companies to tackle some of the world’s most challenging problems in healthcare.


About Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC works across the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer health sectors to accelerate early-stage, transformational solutions by catalyzing the best ideas, wherever they are in the world. We do this by harnessing our deep scientific capabilities coupled with a wide range of tools, including customized deal structures, company creation, incubation and startup services, capital investments and other innovative business models that aim to meet the diverse needs of entrepreneurs, scientists and emerging companies. Our goal is to help life science and health technology innovations thrive through collaboration and partnership with the global ecosystem, so that together we can change the trajectory of human health. Meet our passionate team of science and technology experts and learn how to collaborate with us at

Cautions Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 related to a new collaboration and product development. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC and/or Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the potential that the expected benefits and opportunities related to the collaboration may not be realized or may take longer to realize than expected; challenges inherent in new product development, including the uncertainty of clinical success and obtaining regulatory approvals; competition, including technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; uncertainty of commercial success for new products; the ability of the company to successfully execute strategic plans; impact of business combinations and divestitures; challenges to patents; changes in behavior and spending patterns or financial distress of purchasers of health care products and services; and global health care reforms and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and descriptions of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & Johnson’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 3, 2021, including in the sections captioned “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” and in the company’s most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, and the company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings are available online at, or on request from Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC and Johnson & Johnson do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.


1 For purposes of this challenge, as defined by 38 U.S.C. §101 and any individual who was honorably discharged from a Reserve Component or the National Guard

2 Current legal partner of a U.S. Service Member on active duty, National Guard, or Reserve Component

3 Assari S. Veterans and risk of heart disease in the United States: a cohort with 20 years of follow up. Int J Prev Med. 2014;5(6):703-709.


5 MILITARY MEDICINE, 177, 6:693, 2012 Cancer Incidence Among Patients of the U.S. Veterans Affairs Health Care System

6 Grimm PD, Mauntel TC, Potter BK. Combat and Noncombat Musculoskeletal Injuries in the US Military. Sports Med Arthrosc Rev. 2019 Sep;27(3):84-91. doi: 10.1097/JSA.0000000000000246.

7 Olenick M, Flowers M, Diaz VJ. US veterans and their unique issues: enhancing health care professional awareness. Adv Med Educ Pract. 2015;6:635-639. Published 2015 Dec 1. doi:10.2147/AMEP.S89479

8 MILITARY MEDICINE, 181, 5:476, 2016. Increasing Prevalence of Chronic Lung Disease in Veterans of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

9 MILITARY MEDICINE, 178, 7:811, 2013 Veteran Eye Disease After Eligibility Reform: Prevalence and Characteristics

10 United States Census Bureau. Those Who Served: America’s Veterans From World War II to the War on Terror. American Community Survey Report. June 2020.

11 Heinz AJ, Freeman MA, Harpaz-Rotem I, Pietrzak RH. American Military Veteran Entrepreneurs: A Comprehensive Profile of Demographic, Service History, and Psychosocial Characteristics. Mil Psychol. 2017;29(6):513-523. doi: 10.1037/mil0000195. PMID: 29290645; PMCID: PMC5744891.

12 Olenick, M., Flowers, M., & Diaz, V. J. (2015). US veterans and their unique issues: enhancing health care professional awareness. Advances in medical education and practice6, 635–639.

13 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Multiple Chronic Conditions Among Veterans and Nonveterans: United States, 2015-2018.”

SOURCE Johnson & Johnson Innovation

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