Inventors put ideas to the ultimate test at U-M’s Innovation Corps Demo Day

August 29, 2012


DATE: 8:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Aug. 30, 2012.

EVENT: Inventors and entrepreneurs from universities across the country will report what they learned about the markets for their products after eight weeks spent talking to potential customers. Demo Day is the culminating event of the National Science Foundation’s intensive, eight-week Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program. During the showcase, 27 teams that signed their ideas up for the ultimate critique will summarize their progress in the program.

This is the first cohort to finish the intensive workshop at the University of Michigan. In July, U-M was named one of two new nodes in the national program that is designed to fast-track NSF-funded research from the lab to the real world. NSF launched I-Corps in 2011 with an eye toward helping the nation maintain its global competitiveness. The first training sessions were held at Stanford University. Initial sessions at Georgia Institute of Technology and U-M are wrapping up, each with more than two dozen teams. Here are descriptions of a few of the teams that will present the U-M Demo Day.

  • Static electricity shock prevention for the semiconductor industry from the University of Michigan, inspired by research on dust storms on Earth and Mars. Read about Charge Tracker’s history:
  • An alternative to bleach for sanitizing food from the University of Oklahoma: Bleach is the industry standard for sanitizing poultry, beef and produce, but it isn’t always strong enough against bacteria and it has drawbacks including byproducts that are believed to pose health risks.
  • A handle suspension system to lighten loads, from Purdue University: With typical handles on suitcases, tool boxes, etc., the load bounces up and down as you walk, inducing a dynamic force on the walker that’s 2-3 times more the weight of the load, sometimes causing injury.

Presentations will take place every 15 minutes from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. At 8:15 a.m., Phil Weilerstein, executive director of the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance will speak. Interviews with Weilerstein, I-Corps faculty or teams can be arranged in advance as well.

PLACE: North Campus Research Complex, Building 18, 2800 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor. Directions:


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