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Champion healthcare innovators

Our dedicated team at Johnson & Johnson Innovation has a mission to unlock the best early-stage innovations that could transform health outcomes for patients, wherever they originate. We know that innovation takes a village and that the representation of different backgrounds, perspectives and experiences is essential for driving innovations that help us put patients first.

JLABS is our global incubator network that provides early-stage innovators with access to funding, resources, expertise and industry connections to accelerate the time it takes for life science and health technology innovations to reach patients. JLABS QuickFire Challenges are unique competitions that support innovators and entrepreneurs in finding potential health solutions for their communities. Awardees are provided financial support through a funding pool and access to the global JLABS network.

Impact in 2023


QuickFire Challenge awardees and finalists were women-led teams

$11.9 million

awards to 35 innovators (6 million more than in 2022)


QuickFire Challenge awardees and finalists in 2023 were teams led by people of color

QuickFire challenges from 2023 that focused on health equity include:

  • The Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) QuickFire Challenge aimed at identifying data-driven research solutions that help better understand the manifestations of IBD and determinants of health disparities in underserved communities. This challenge awarded a total of $250,000 in grant funding to the winning teams.
  • The Bay Area Health Equity QuickFire Challenge aimed at identifying solutions that target oncological, immunological, neurological, and cardiovascular/metabolic diseases that adversely affect underserved populations. This challenge has a grant pool of $100,000 in 2024.
Two scientists working in a lab; one looking through a microscope and the other using a control pad connected to a laptop. (illustration)
Kevin Brown, Founder and CEO, Karneyium Health, IBD QuickFire Challenge Awardee, 2023 (photo)

It matters to me

Kevin Brown, Founder and CEO, Karneyium Health, IBD QuickFire Challenge Awardee, 2023

What is Karneyium Health?

“We want to help further the process of democratizing clinical trials in hospitals that are generally excluded from research opportunities. We’ve realized that a lot of communities of color really don’t understand what clinical research is and historically, it’s been something that they’re extremely uncomfortable with. The data that Karneyium Health gathers can be relayed back to clinical trial sponsors to help address some of those misunderstandings.”

How does JLABS support your progress?

“Because Johnson & Johnson is involved in so many clinical trials, they’re giving us a great arena to test our project and make sure that it’s superior for the people who are going to use it. I hope to have onboarded 25 to 50 community health systems and hospitals and 15 to 20 pharmaceutical companies by 2025.”

What’s your vision?

“As the technology surrounding clinical trials continues to advance, I see a world in the future where any community health system, rural healthcare center or nonacademic institution can take part in clinical trials. That won’t just even the playing field when it comes to accessing clinical trials, but the outcomes themselves.”