Three teams with engineering faculty, students accepted to 2021 NSF I-Corps cohort

Three Ideator teams with an engineering faculty member, an alumna and an undergraduate have been accepted to the Spring 2021 I-Corps cohort. The National Science Foundation Innovation Corps program supports deep technologies and fundamental discoveries in science and engineering that have high potential to impact society.

Vanderbilt’s Ideator program, run through the Wondr’y, works with burgeoning inventors among faculty, students and staff from universities throughout the Southeast. The program provides training, expert mentorship, individual office hours with experienced entrepreneurs and idea evaluation experts, and microgrant funding.

Dave Owens

“Working with innovators on ideas that will change the world is one of the most exciting aspects of the Wond’ry,” said David Owens, Evans Family Executive Director of the Wond’ry and professor of the practice of management and innovation. Owens has a secondary faculty appointment in the School of Engineering as professor of the practice of engineering management.

  • Christina Marasco, associate professor of the practice of biomedical engineering and Stacy Sherrod, research assistant professor of chemistry and executive director of the Center for Innovative Technology, are the co-founders of Finally Skincare, a biotechnology company that provides scientific skin assessment to help guide individuals to the best skincare ingredients for them.
  • Elissa LeDoux, MS’16, former mechanical engineering graduate student and current lecturer in the department of engineering technology and mechatronics engineering at Middle Tennessee State University, is working on her research project, “Handy Helper: 3D Printed Powered Hand Orthosis,” a hand orthosis to support hand motor function recovery for stroke victims.
  • Mechanical engineering student Michael Finn-Henry and Olivia Busk, a medicine, health, and society major, both mentored at the Wond’ry by Stryker Warren, have developed Resuscitative Endovascular Bypass (REBy), a hemorrhage control device that provides doctors with more time to address hemorrhages, allowing them to save lives.

The Wond’ry became an I-Corps site in 2017, providing a pathway into the NSF National I-Corps program for STEM-related innovations through training, microgrant funding, application review, interview preparation and proposal resources.  In the past three years, more than 20 Wond’ry teams have been accepted to this highly competitive NSF program.

Program participation is freely available to provide the tools needed for customer discovery and evaluation of an idea’s potential in the market. Ideas from all industries are accepted, from consumer products and services to medical devices and deep science discoveries. The next Ideator cohort will begin in February—applications are open 

Contact: Brenda Ellis, 615 343-6314