We are excited to announce an exclusive new opportunity for SMILE Health alumni called ACCELERATE. CareQuest Innovation Partners, in partnership with MATTER, is launching ACCELERATE to further support our SMILE Health community, advance mission-aligned work, and further validate/scale your solutions.

You can submit projects that meet specific criteria outlined in this application for consideration. While stipend amounts will vary per award, we anticipate a range of $10,000 to $50,000 per company. Currently, we are reviewing applications on a rolling basis, and aim to make decisions within 20 days of submission.

To sustain ACCELERATE over time, we ask stipend recipients to “pay it forward” by repaying an equivalent sum within 36 months of the initial award date if financially able.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be a SMILE Health alumnus.
  • Project proposal should be focused on discrete activities designed to further validate and accelerate your solution. They should not be used for general business activities or general working capital (e.g., salaries, travel, etc.)
  • Project should generally not exceed 6-12 months in duration and should start within a reasonable time of stipend disbursement (e.g., weeks not months).
  • Projects must have the confirmation and support of a SMILE Health Industry Partner. Partner support can be in-kind (e.g., time/resource commitment, use of space, expertise, etc.) and/or financial contribution.


Additional Requirements for Successful Applicants

  • Sign an agreement before stipend is dispersed, including making a good faith commitment to “pay it forward” and pay an equal amount to ACCELERATE within 36 months, if financially able.
  • Submit updates as key project milestones are reached.
  • Submit final report at the end of the project with project outcomes, insights, and use of stipend.



Q: What is the timeline for projects and repayment?

A:  We will review applications on a rolling basis and aim to make stipend decisions within 20 days of submission. A project should generally not exceed 6-12 months in duration and should start within a reasonable time of stipend disbursement (e.g., weeks not months). Stipend recipients are asked to “pay it forward” by paying an equivalent sum to ACCELERATE within 36 months of the initial award date, if financially able.


Q: Are there reporting requirements for stipend recipients?  

A: Yes. All stipend recipients will be required to submit a final report at the end of the project sharing key outcomes and insights. We also ask that stipend recipients provide updates as key project milestones are reached. 


Q: Do I need to submit my project to ACCELERATE with the same Industry Partner that I worked with on my initial validation study when I was a cohort participant?

A:  No. You can collaborate with any SMILE Industry Partner.


Q: What kind of support is expected from the Industry Partner?

A:  Prior to submitting your application, discuss and agree upon the project scope, milestones, and roles and responsibilities with your Industry Partner. They can support the project financially or in-kind through time, access, expertise, operations, physical space, digital tools, etc. Clearly explain the organizational relationship in your application. We will confirm the Partner’s approval and commitment during the application review process. CareQuest Innovation Partners or MATTER will not be parties to any agreements between your startup and your Industry Partner. 


Q: What is the range for stipend amounts available through ACCELERATE? 

A: Stipend amounts will vary and we have no set cap, but we anticipate stipend amounts to range from $10,000 to $50,000. 

Challenge statement: 

Uncontrolled respiratory patients often cycle through rounds of conventional prescription therapies without relief. How can we identify, activate and support these patients to find advanced biologic prescription treatment options earlier?

Who should apply?

We’re seeking entrepreneurs who are developing a solution to identify, activate and support patients who require respiratory therapy. This global call for solutions is open to startups from across the innovation ecosystem with an established proof of concept, evidence of product-market fit and business model potential. 

Participants must be available to spend two hours on this challenge each week from March 18 to April 12 and travel to Boston during the week of April 15 to present to a live audience.


January 8: Applications open

March 3: Applications close

March 15: Finalists announced

March 18-April 12: Startup bootcamp

Week of April 15: Final showcase (in person in Boston)

Accelerating Early-Stage Oral Health Startups  

Simple, Minimally Invasive, Integrated, Low-Barrier, and Equitable (SMILE) Health aims to identify and incubate early-stage startups that deliver transformative, disruptive changes that improve overall health.

Challenge Statement

SMILE Health asks: How can we provide accessible, equitable, and integrated oral health care?

Who should apply?

CareQuest Innovation Partners and MATTER are seeking early-stage startups tied to the overall challenge statement that are looking for access to data sources, validation, customer feedback, industry data, and more. The SMILE Health Program is open to global solutions across all disciplines with a strong leadership team. If your product does not currently have an oral health application, you can still apply as long as there is a potential use case for oral health. Read the SMILE Health FAQ for more information.


March 13, 2023: Applications open

May 7, 2023 at 11:59p ET: Applications close

May 22 - May 31, 2023: Meetings with top candidates

June 5, 2023: Announcement of cohort

June 12 - September 1, 2023: SMILE Health Program

September 19-20, 2023: Stakeholder Day

October 8-11, 2023: Demo Day 

Program details:

This program includes a required incubation period from June 12 to September 1. During this phase, participants will validate and pressure test their solutions through interactive workshops that include mentoring from subject matter experts and real-time feedback from the oral health community — from clinical thought leaders to patients and caregivers. The time commitment is 10–15 hours per week.