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INVO Welcomes 2014 I2C Fellows

This summer INVO welcomes nine students as part of the Innovation to Commercialization (I2C) Fellowship program. Started in 2012, I2C provides budding entrepreneurs, future marketers, business development scouts and patent attorneys with first-hand experience handling intellectual property, technology licensing, and bringing inventions to market—all in a supportive academic environment.

The 2014 multidisciplinary, cross-campus group is pursuing graduate degrees through the McCormick School of Engineering (McCormick), Feinberg School of Medicine (Feinberg), Kellogg School of Management (Kellogg), and the Northwestern Law School (Law). For the first time, INVO also accepted an undergraduate student from McCormick into the program as an intern. Each of the participating schools promotes the fellowship, advocates for their candidates throughout the selection process, and funds their fellows’ stipends, ensuring that a wide variety of backgrounds, skills, and future career interests are represented.

Meet the 2014 Fellows

From McCormick:

  • Anand Kesavaraju, MS candidate ‘14
  • Shuangcheng Yu, MS; PhD candidate ‘16
  • Zhongbi Chen, PhD candidate ‘14
  • Eric Hauser, BS/BA candidate ‘16

From Feinberg:

  • Irena Antic, PhD Candidate ‘14
  • Michelle Oliveira Fernandes, PhD candidate ‘14

From Kellogg and Law

  • Jesse Chang, MBA & JD candidate ‘16
  • Kieren J. Patel, PhD; MBA & JD candidate ‘16

From Law:

  • JD candidate ‘15

The I2C fellowship pairs students with projects based on technologies invented by Northwestern faculty. Although it is has only been in place for two years, I2C has supported 18 students, 35 faculty, and 8 Northwestern startups. Recognizable and successful startup participants from previous years include Narrative Science (McCormick faculty Kris Hammond, PhD and Larry Birnbaum, PhD), the Chicago Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center (CHITREC) (Feinberg faculty Abel Kho, MD) and Scimplicity (McCormick faculty member Jian Cao).

This year, the fellows have elected to work on projects related to individual technologies as well as with startups at various stages, including:

The aim of I2C is to teach fellows the basics of the commercialization process, such as understanding the inventor’s technology and R&D efforts, evaluating the patentability of the invention, performing a market and competitive landscape analysis for the future product, and identifying funding and investment opportunities. Along the way, students receive guidance from direct interaction with the participating faculty, INVO Invention Managers, Northwestern Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, outside venture capitalists, and regulatory experts. Outside speakers providing training and expertise this year include Baird Venture Partners; Marshall Gerstein Borun, LLP; vg-bio, SiNode Systems, Cardinal Health and Stratus Ventures.

The three month fellowship culminates with a pitch presentation on August 14, 2014 at 12pm in the ITW Classroom at the Ford Design Center. The final pitch presentation is open to the public and the Northwestern community.

Check back for updates on the fellows and their projects throughout the summer on the INVO website and by following @INVOatNU on Twitter (#I2CFellow).

I2C is sponsored by Northwestern University, the McCormick School of Engineering, the Kellogg School of Management, the Feinberg School of Medicine, and Northwestern Law.