Success Story

2017-18 NSF I-Corps Invent Teams Selected

Twelve entrepreneurial teams from Penn State have been selected to participate in the National Science Foundation I-Corps program. The teams receive up to $3,000 which can be used to attend industry trade shows, visit potential customers, develop prototypes and cover customer discovery expenses. Participation in Penn State’s program enables PI’s who have not previously received NSF funding to be eligible to apply to the I-Corps National Teams program where they can receive a $50,000 grant. An increasing number of NSF grant awards require NSF I-Corps training as a criterion for eligibility.

The selected teams are working on a variety of ideas and technologies ranging from a smartphone-based field blood testing technology to a mobile platform that helps people recovering from addiction.

The teams are:


Advanced Diabetes Technologies

An app that allows for the safe and easy monitoring of blood glucose

Team Members

Daniel Bowers, Entrepreneur, Postdoctoral Associate, Cornell University

Edward Botchwey, Academic Lead, Associate Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology

Tim Hurley, Mentor, Sr. Technology Licensing Officer and Commercialization Strategist, Penn State


Customize It

A streamlined process of finding and comparing options for creating customized merchandise such as t-shirts and coffee mugs.

Team Members

Atriya Ghosh, Entrepreneur, PhD Candidate, Penn State

Delphine Lariviere, Academic Lead, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Penn State

Somreeta Muhkerjee, Mentor, Chief Executive Officer, Customize It


Hidlo Studios

A digital marketing agency developing the world’s first Snapchat geofilter management software.

Team Members

Benjamin Tarnoff, Entrepreneur, Chief Operating Officer, Hidlo Studios

Richard Weyer, Academic Lead, Instructor in Entrepreneurship, Penn State

Bill Zimmerman, Mentor, Lecturer, Penn State


Innovation Weather

Custom algorithm solutions for any meteorological need

Team Members

Andrew Moffitt, Entrepreneur, Meteorologist, KEZI 9 News



An alternative test of insulin resistance using plasma fatty acids instead of glucose in a simple, clinically friendly way that can predict the development of diabetes.

Team Members:

Rachel Walker, Entrepreneur, PhD Candidate, Penn State

Gregory Shearer, Academic Lead, Associate Professor, Penn State



A mobile blood testing application and proprietary test strip that reduces the need for individuals to travel to a lab for routine blood tests.

Team Members:

Sherveen Karbasiafshar, Entrepreneur, B.S. Student, Penn State

Robert Paulson, Academic Lead, Professor, Penn State



A synthetic bone grafting material called Bone Foam, which provides dentists a more effective and easier to use alternative to current biologic and synthetic graft materials.

Team Members:

Matthew Henry, Entrepreneur, Chief Executive Officer, Osteosynth

Daniel Hayes, Academic Lead, Associate Professor, Penn State

Tim Hurley, Mentor, Sr. Technology Licensing Officer and Commercialization Strategist, Penn State


Pets I’ve Met

A photo-sharing mobile app that allows pet lovers to keep picture memories of all the animals they meet.

Team Members:

Kimberly Tierney, Entrepreneur, Co-founder, Pets I’ve Met, LLC

James Tierney, Academic Lead, Lecturer, Penn State

Christine Faust, Mentor, Director of Development and Marketing, Centre County PAWS


spotLESS Materials

An easy-to-clean surface coating products for bathroom fixtures that outperform current commercial products and allow for up to a 90% water savings.

Team Members:

Birgitt Boschitsch, Entrepreneur, Graduate Fellow, Penn State

Tak-Sing Wong, Academic Lead, Assistant Professor, Penn State

Jerry Hudson, Mentor, International Business Coach, Ben Franklin Technology Partners



A 3D printing technology that allows individuals to create custom footwear based on their individual style and foot size.

Team Members:

Nicholas Unis, Entrepreneur, Masters in Accounting Student, Penn State

Tim Simpson, Academic Lead, Professor, Penn State



A global co-working space community to connect co-working spaces across the world through a platform serving both co-working space users and co-working spaces.

Team Members:

HsiaoTing Ko, Entrepreneur, Chief Executive Officer, Visionese

Shyam Sundar, Academic Lead, Professor, Penn State

Linda Feltman, Mentor, Senior Business Consultant, Penn State Small Business Development Center



A wearable/mobile platform that detects cravings in people recovering from addiction disorder by monitoring indicators of stress and anxiety.

Team Members:

James Mundie, Entrepreneur, Mobile Application Developer, Penn State

Tim Brick, Academic Lead, Assistant Professor, Penn State


Teams will have a dedicated mentor who meets with them to provide business expertise, advise on pitch development and funding strategies, and help grow a network of contacts. As well, they will be afforded opportunities to showcase their new venture at the Invent Penn State Venture & IP Conference on October 3 and 4, 2019.

The NSF awarded Invent Penn State I-Corps status and $500,000 in September 2017 to support entrepreneurship training and financial support for university-related startups. The Penn State I-Corps Site “boot camp” style trainings help inventors begin customer discovery, gain access to microgrants, learn about the commercialization process, network with experienced entrepreneurs and determine if a market exists for their innovation.

The Penn State I-Corps training is facilitated by Happy Valley LaunchBox, Altoona LaunchBox, Ben Franklin TechCelerator and Penn State Berks Idea TestLab. For more information visit