Illinois I-Corps recently concluded its 27th cohort successfully and is seeking applicants for its upcoming cohort in spring. Part of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Innovation-Corps (I-Corps) program, Illinois I-Corps was launched in 2013. Since its inception, over 180 teams have graduated from the program, and have raised nearly $78 million. Notable alumni include companies such as Lightform, Cast21, PhotoniCare, and Veriflow.
Illinois I-Corps helps faculty and students commercialize their STEM-related ideas, research, and technologies. It enables you to explore the business potential or commercial viability of your research, help gain valuable insights into entrepreneurship, and learn about the value proposition of your innovation. “Illinois I-Corps is an entryway to $1.5 million in equity-free funding to help launch your venture,” says Jed Taylor, Executive Director of Illinois I-Corps Program and Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC)
Each I-Corps team receives up to $2,000 to take part in the customer discovery process of their innovation. Upon completion, teams are also eligible to apply to the national I-Corps program, which provides a $50,000 grant for each team.
Illinois I-Corps 27th Cohort included:
Visionaire Products (Carle Illinois College of Medicine): Visionaire Products is developing a customized kit for ocular fluid biopsy. Ocular fluid biopsies are critical for the diagnosis of certain infections that can cause ocular inflammation. The kit includes a customized needle and specialized collection vials that are specifically designed to handle small amounts of ocular fluid for obtaining accurate results. The device will enable general ophthalmologists to perform this procedure more safely.
Autoracle (Physics, The Grainger College of Engineering): Autoracle is developing a data-driven predictive maintenance software to prevent critical component failure in automobiles. The software aims to provide a reliable real-time vehicle diagnostic tool for the end-user and suggest preventive maintenance. Currently, car owners do maintenance through mechanics, dealership or self- maintain. However, there is ambiguity about the maintenance work done and the price charged. The software aims to close the market gap between car owners and mechanics, and develop trust.
Anemone (Computer Science): Anemone is a complete crisis plan app for people experiencing mental health emergencies. While most hospitals and therapy programs require users to develop a crisis plan prior to discharge, they are often clunky packets of paper with complicated details. Anemone promises to simplify this common practice into an easy, step by step, swipe-based interface that allows users to customize their own plan with key information such as their medications, emergency contacts, and a guide for how to cope and manage with early warning signs. They can take their plan on-the-go, or export it as a PDF and share it with friends, family, and law enforcement.
InnSight Technology, Inc (Carle Foundation Hospital and Carle Illinois College of Medicine): InnnSight Technology is developing a hand-held, portable device that can be placed in the tear film to measure important biomarkers for eye health. The technology is an impedance-based sensor platform designed to measure target analyte concentration in human tear film for quantitative analysis of diabetic retinopathy in patients. The platform measures proteins and cytokines that may be important for determining if the diabetic disease is affecting the eyes.
Easy Localization for Automation, Tracking, and Data (Gies and Geir E Dullerud Research Group in Mechanical Science and Engineering): ElatD technology is enabled by ultra-wideband (UWB) radio that delivers positioning accuracy within a 10cm range. UWB can be set up both indoors and outdoors to allow localization services similar to GPS, but with better precision. ElatD enables simpler setup of the UWB system to aid easy localization and tracking for applications such as robotics, autonomous vehicles, smart manufacturing, and intelligent safety systems. With this technology, the system setup is reduced from hours to minutes, allowing a vast array of possibilities for amateurs and consumers alike to utilize the potential of more accurate localization both outdoors and indoors.
JingqiNews (LAS): JingqiNews is a platform that translates comments on China/Chinese related news articles. The platform aims to link the Chinese population to international opinions and comments on real-time news and other stories.
Illinois I-Corps Site is a collaboration between the Technology Entrepreneur Center in The Grainger College of Engineering, EnterpriseWorks at the Research Park, with participation from the Office of Technology Management, and IllinoisVentures.
The application for the next cohort is being accepted on a rolling basis. Learn more about Illinois I-Corps. Questions? Contact Jed Taylor, Executive Director of Illinois I-Corps Program and Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC) at firstname.lastname@example.org.