Get Involved

Do you have a wicked problem you want to solve? Do you have an idea for improving how the Department delivers its mission? Apply to the Ignite Accelerator Program!

Group photo from HHS Innovation Day


All HHS employees from any level in both Operating Divisions and Staff Divisions are encouraged to apply. Project Leads must be a full-time employee (FTE) of the Department. Team members can comprise of federal employees from other offices or agencies, or non-government employees with an existing, legal arrangement with the Department (ex: contractors, Intergovernmental Personnel Act, grantees, fellows).


To participate in Ignite, applicants are required to:

  • Apply as a team of 2-5 people
  • Be capable of committing 25 – 40% of time over the three month program
  • Receive supervisor approval for all members of the team and supervisor support for the project
  • Attend all days of the Boot Camp training
  • Be able to travel to Washington DC for Boot Camp training and Innovation Day

Stages of the Ignite Program

1. Application Process
Once the application period is opened, staff from across the Department apply by filling out an online application. Applications are evaluated by a review panel and a select number of proposals move forward to the finalist round.

2. Finalist Interviews
Proposals selected as finalists provide a short pitch on their idea and proposed problem to a panel of reviewers. The review panel makes further determinations on the selected teams for the Ignite cohort.

3. Boot Camp
Selected teams receive design and entrepreneurship training during an in-person Boot Camp held in Washington, DC.

4. Three month Design Sprint
After Boot Camp, Ignite participants have three months of coaching support and guidance to further explore their project and test out their idea with real users. By the end of the three months, teams will have a validated problem statement and potentially a tested, prototyped solution.

5. Innovation Day
Ignite teams pitch their idea directly to HHS Leadership and a large public audience at HHS Innovation Day in Washington, DC.

Have additional questions? Visit our FAQ page

Content created by Office of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Content last reviewed on December 4, 2019