Sprint Challenge Brief:

Detection technologies for identification of SARS-CoV-2 from environmental samples

Submissions Closed    Submissions Closed

Sprint Challenge Description

On behalf of a coalition of industry and government sponsors, TechConnect Ventures is seeking immediate responses demonstrating technologies which can rapidly identify SARS-CoV-2 from environmental samples, including air, hard surfaces, and more. Of particular interest are sampling and detection paradigms to rapidly identify the presence of SARS-CoV-2 with in situ testing and reporting. Ideal solutions will provide or enable an easily implemented test with the potential for use in commercial applications that informs customer, employee, and public health professionals about prevalence of virus. Solutions from organizations of all types are invited, including academia, research, start-ups, small-to-medium enterprise and more.

Business Opportunity

Top technologies will be considered for both current and future development, funding, licensing and acquisition Opportunities by TechConnect Ventures' diverse cross-section of Sprint sponsors, including frontline organizations and their partners. Certain top technologies will also be featured in an upcoming COVID-19 Innovation Opportunity Report which will be promoted across all of TechConnect Ventures' corporate, agency and investment partners.

Why are we running this Sprint?

Rapid, efficient, and effective detection of the COVID-19 causing agent, SARS-CoV-2, is essential in order to establish where safe spaces exist, and in parallel to identify potentially hazardous spaces. This is especially true for crowded and/or confined environments where space is at a premium and social distancing is challenging (e.g. cruise ships, military barracks, etc.) or where proper ventilation could be challenging. The ability to identify viral agents in the air or on hard surfaces will help identify the presence and spread of disease and provide avenues of virus detection beyond diagnosis of disease in individuals.  The ability to detect virus in environmental samples also provides a further understanding of geographic hotspots and spread, an advantage critical in such close environments where spread can magnify and advance extremely rapidly.

Submission Requirements

TechConnect Ventures invites any and all responses describing novel detection technologies to identify SARS-CoV-2 from environmental samples, including air, hard surfaces, and more. Technologies with the ability to meet or exceed the operating parameters described below are of significant interest. Solutions which cannot yet meet the detection parameters, but which can describe or demonstrate a near-term (less than 6 months) timeline to meeting these efficacy requirements are also of considerable interest.

Detection Parameters

Parameter Objective Threshold
Speed Final result within 30 minutes Final result within 60 minutes
Positive Predictive Value >98% >95%
Negative Predictive Value >98% >95%

Potential Solutions

TechConnect Ventures is seeking partners from all industries and disciplines to propose solutions, including, but not limited to:

  • Systems with direct collections and separation of particles coupled with rapid identification of target
  • Detection of antigen, antibody, nucleic acid, or whole virus
  • Collection of air samples via easily implemented methods such as:
    • Air concentrators
    • Filter collectors
    • Impingers
    • Cyclonic collections
  • Collection of samples on hard surfaces via easily implemented methods such as:
    • Swabs
    • Wipes
    • Liquids
    • Fabric

NOTE: Any and all potential technologies that can be used to create potential solutions are of interest for this Sprint. The examples provided do not indicate front running technology or preferences in any way.


All Submissions must include a completed Submission Webform (link). Submit only NON-CONFIDENTIAL information.

Within the Submission Webform your Entry should address the Problem Statement through the following:

  • A non-confidential summary of your technology or innovation, including any technical data and details on performance as it applies to the Problem Statement
  • Value proposition and (potential) commercial impact
  • Development status and readiness level
  • Development and scale-up pathway (if available)
  • Intellectual property position
  • Funding and award status (if applicable)
  • Type of partnership or commercial relationship sought with Innovation Seekers
  • Company or organizational profile
  • Contact, team and organizational information

Respondents are also invited to upload one (1) supplemental file (max. size 10MB) containing their unique technology pitch, presentation or white paper summary.


TechConnect Ventures and the members of its COVID-19 coalition will review all submissions within 4-6 weeks of the Submission Deadline. Based on the nature of the innovation and strength of the response relative to all submissions received, top innovators may be selected for further discussions, pitches or proposals which may lead to contractual or commercial engagements for the research, development or commercialization of the most promising technologies.


Contact info@techconnectventures.com and reference the Sprint Topic.

Participation Rules & Guidelines

  1. You must complete the provided Submission webform on the Sprint Submission page.
  2. You are encouraged to submit a short presentation or pitch deck. A template is available on the Submission page.

Solvers are encouraged to review the Rules and Guidelines provided on the Sprint page for details about participation, including submission criteria, eligibility information, and more.

Submissions Closed Download Challenge Brief

QUESTIONS? Contact Executive Director, Nick Kacsandi at info@techconnectventures.com