OMT CSO Dr. Tara Alvarez was awarded a $50,000 National Science Foundation I-Corps award, on which she serves as the primary investigator and technical lead. OMT CEO John Vito d’Antonio-Bertagnolli, a graduate student in Dr. Alvarez’s Vision and Neural Engineering Laboratory, serves as Entrepreneurial Lead on the award. The proposal seeks to further clarify the customer insights made during the team’s I-Corps mini-grant at the local NJIT I-Corps site.
The team will travel to Los Angeles for the I-Corps Kickoff and Closing conferences in October and November, respectively. In the interim between the two in-person conferences, John Vito will conduct over 100 customer interviews to learn more about the commercial applications of OMT’s virtual reality vision therapy platform.
Read the grant abstract here.
About the NSF I-Corps Program
The National Science Foundation I-Corps program prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the university laboratory, and accelerates the economic and societal benefits of NSF-funded, basic-research projects that are ready to move toward commercialization. Teams receive mentoring, entrepreneurial training, and $50,000 for customer discovery. Through I-Corps, NSF grantees learn to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research, gain skills in entrepreneurship through training in customer discovery and guidance from established entrepreneurs.