Four Ohio University teams selected for I-Corps@Ohio 2016 cohort

M.C. Tilton
May 18, 2016

Four Ohio University research teams have been selected for the second I-Corps@Ohio cohort. For seven weeks beginning on May 13, the OHIO teams will join 20 teams representing universities from across the state to validate the market potential of their own proposed technologies and to learn about launching startup companies.

Each team will receive intense experiential learning in business modeling, commercial opportunities, product development, and much more, as well as $15,000 to aid in their startups. After completing the program, the teams will be eligible for significantly discounted match funding requirements should they be selected for Ohio Third Frontier’s Technology Validation and StartUp Fund program

The teams that applied from OHIO were admitted to this year’s cohort largely because of the new “Bobcat Research Course: Moving Innovation to Commercialization” seminar series managed by the Center for Entrepreneurship and co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. The course introduced topics on value creation, technology licensing, and utilizing university resources for commercialization, with the hope of giving faculty and students more preparation for competitive programs like I-Corps.

“The I-Corps@Ohio program, along with supportive educational offerings at OHIO, provide new pathways toward entrepreneurship and commercialization for faculty and students,” TechGROWTH Ohio and Center for Entrepreneurship Executive Director Lynn Gellermann said. “These programs have quickly become part of the fabric of our entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem.”

Each team combines a principal investigator (PI), entrepreneurial lead (EL) and an executive mentor (EM) from the industry. The OHIO team members include:

Team One: Brian Clark (PI), Lyn Bowman (EL), Jeff Spitzner (EM)

  • Clark is a professor of physiology at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and executive director of the Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute.
  • Bowman is affiliated with the College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences.
  • Spitzner is a serial biomedical/bioinformatics entrepreneur located in Columbus.


Team Two: Frank Kraft (PI), Kevin Zhang (EL), Kevin Krizman (EM)

  • Kraft is a full professor in the Russ College of Engineering and Director of the Center for Advanced Materials.
  • Krizman is an executive who lives in Germany but has worked in this field his entire career.
  • Zhang was a TechGROWTH Ohio intern and student employee who is graduating and wants to pursue this along with his first full-time job.


Team Three: Yang Li (PI), Nabanita Talukdar (EL), and Bruce Halpryn (EM)

  • Li is a professor of neuroscience at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.
  • Talukdar is a Masters of Public Administration graduate student at the Voinovich School and a TechGROWTH Ohio intern and student employee.
  • Halpryn was the head of Proctor and Gamble’s Pharmaceutical Division in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Team Four: Steven Bergmeier (PI), Xuan Wang (EL) and Paul Kilzer (EM)

  • This team also includes Xiaozhuo Chen, Associate Professor of Transgenic Systems at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine/Edison Biotechnology Institute (EBI), and Jeff Wiseman, EBI.
  • Bergmeier is a full professor and the Department Head of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Wang is a Ph.D student with Bergmeier and Chen at EBI, who is interested in commercialization.
  • Kilzer was an executive mentor for Rev1 Ventures in Columbus and seasoned business leader.


“I-Corps will help us to explore the commercial opportunity and needs for our proposed technology and identify if our technology has merit,” Team Three entrepreneurial lead Nabanita Talukdar said. “I am looking forward to learn as well as contribute through this program. We should be able to identify the market potential and place the technology appropriately in the market during the course of this project. In turn, this would be a critical point of achievement in my career which would eventually enable me to emerge as an expert in the field.”

I-Corp@Ohio is sponsored by the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) and is modeled after a similar program through the National Science Foundation. The ODHE hopes to use I-Corps to encourage innovation and industry collaboration, as well as bring financial rewards to public universities for their research discoveries. 

To learn more about I-Corps@Ohio, visit their website.