Pitch your product idea before a panel of judges for a chance to win up to 75k in Proof of Concept Funding. Participants have the opportunity to be paired with an experienced Business Advisor to help them evaluate the commercial potential of their technology. This opportunity is open to WHOI innovators only. Preliminary Application Forms/Intent to Apply forms are due July 2nd for this years Pitchathon Competition and proposals are due September 15th. Pitches will take place in October & be open to the public.
More details can be found on the Internal Funding website.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
WHOI OTT is looking for experienced Business Advisors to take part in this year’s Pitchathon competition. This annual event- now a part of Innovation Month – has grown immensely since it’s first year in 2015.
Each year, WHOI innovators are matched with a Business Advisor to craft a pitch for their technology over the course of two months. Applicants then make their pitch in October to a panel of judges in hopes of gaining Proof of Concept Funding to advance their project.
We were lucky last year to have a very talented group of Business Advisors volunteer their time- and as the number of applications increase- we are looking to expand the volunteer pool.
Interested in helping out? Here’s what we are looking for:
Although meetings will be arranged between the Business Advisor & Inventor, here are some key dates Business Advisors will need to be available to travel to WHOI:
To learn more about what we look for in our Business Advisors or to register, visit our Tech Mentors & Champions page and fill out the form here. If you have already previously registered via our site and are interested in participating this year, please email Allison Markova directly at email@example.com.
To learn more about the competition and previous winners- check out our annual report and previous newsletters on our News & Events page.
The WHOI OTT 2017 Annual Report is now available to view online. This report shows the achievements of WHOI OTT throughout the past year. We are proud of the growing entrepreneurial culture here at WHOI.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) sold its controlling interest in EOM Offshore, a mooring systems company based on technology developed by engineers at WHOI. The company was founded as a start-up in 2010 to commercialize highly stretchable, fatigue-resistant hoses to transmit power and data to and from undersea sensors.
EOM’s patented Electromagnetic Stretch Hoses connect surface buoys to undersea mooring lines laden with oceanographic instruments. The hoses are capable of stretching and contracting to accommodate the heave and surge of buoys on the ocean surface that are buffeted by winds and waves. This “stretchability” decreases the wear and tear on the hoses and extends the moorings’ lifespans. The hoses’ ability to absorb extensive motion at the top of the mooring also leaves mooring lines below relatively motionless, providing a “quiet” platform for hydrophones and other sensitive listening devices.
EOM stretch hose are being used in the newly launched Ocean Observatories Initiative, a $386 million project funded by National Science Foundation to establish long-term oceanographic platforms equipped with sensors that can monitor ocean conditions 24/7 for decades. They are also used on mooring networks to listen for endangered whale calls and transmit those signals to shore—in an effort to warn ships of the whales’ presence and avoid lethal collisions. The hoses’ power-handling capacity and fatigue-resistance also offer advantages for emerging offshore floating power-generation installations.
EOM was created in 2010, with a $500,000 investment from WHOI, by a group of engineers and mooring operations technicians who developed the technology. EOM, based in Pocasset, Mass., has grown to ten employees. A recent appraisal commissioned by EOM Offshore concluded that the company had a fair market value as of December 2016 of approximately $2.8 million.
WHOI sold its 68 percent ownership interest to EOM’s management team and investors for $1.8 million.
“EOM Offshore is emblematic of advanced marine technology spawned at WHOI by its ingenious scientists and engineers,” said Dr. David Aubrey, chief executive officer of EOM, who was a WHOI scientist for 22 years. “New ownership is grateful to work with those same brilliant founders to continue EOM’s product and service excellence, while providing WHOI with an ongoing royalty stream that will contribute to WHOI’s continued ocean leadership.”
“This is testimony to WHOI’s commitment to translate the research results of our innovative technical staff into products,” said David Knaack, director of technology transfer at WHOI. Over the last four decades, 19 startups and affiliated companies have emerged from WHOI.
“The sale of EOM Offshore to a new management team and investors is a great example of WHOI’s ability and success in creating new blue-tech companies, technologies, and jobs that benefit the local community, the state of Massachusetts’ tech corridor, and the American economy as whole,” said Christopher Land, vice president for legal affairs and general counsel at WHOI, who will be stepping down as chairman of the EOM board as part of the sale.
To learn more about EOM Offshore and associated products visit: https://www.eomoffshore.com/
Did You Know?
Patent applications begin life as private, confidential communications between the inventor and the Patent Office (USPTO). If continued, patent applications are published (with a few exceptions) 6 months after the Non-Provisional stage. Published patents are freely available, and easily found online.
In 2017, 10 WHOI patent applications published:
Each year WHOI PIs (Principal Investigators) compete for Proof of Concept Research Funding in the WHOI Pitchathon- a competition similar in format to the popular television show “Shark Tank.” Each are given ten minutes to make their pitch followed by 10 minutes of Q&A from a panel of four judges. This year’s competition is slightly different – in that each of the 5 teams applying for funding was matched with a qualified volunteer Business Advisor, or team of Business Advisors, who helped with everything from market research support to the final review of presentations- all in order to support WHOI PIs in their work toward commercialization. Presentations are set to take place October 10th and although not open to the public, fellow applicants, as well as Business Advisors, have been invited to attend any/all presentations.
A review of this year’s pitches, as well as an announcement of the winners, will be posted here in late October.
Want to learn more about previous years’ winners? Click through some of the following links for more information:
More information on funded projects, as well the competition, can also be found in our annual reports and quarterly newsletters- see links to the right of the News & Events page. Be sure to Subscribe to News & Events for OTT updates.
This October- WHOI is celebrating Innovation Month with a series of events for WHOI staff & innovators. WHOI staff- be sure to check the weekly WHOI Headlines for updates on upcoming events.
WHOI Innovation Month Calendar:
October 3rd: 11am – DunkWorks Tours open to WHOI staff – No RSVP required
October 10th: 2-6pm – WHOI Pitchathon- Limited Seats Available/Invitation Only
October 17th: 11am – DunkWorks Tours open to WHOI staff – No RSVP required
October 19th: WHOI OTT Inventor’s Recognition Event- Invitation Only
October 30th: 12-1pm – Redfield 204 – SBIR Lunchtime Seminar- Open to all WHOI staff