September 2011

NCIIA Interim Financial Report Templates

Required Written and Financial Reports

NCIIA prompts Principal Investigators via email to complete required reports online. Your grant's reporting schedule is specified in the award letter. Required financial report templates can be downloaded below. Please contact us at if you have any reporting requirement questions.


Stage 1 and Stage 2 training workshops

For E-Team Program Participants!

The E1 and E2 training workshops are based on NCIIA's successful VentureLab program: an intensive, highly experiential and immersive workshop designed to enhance the success of your venture. Participants develop strong, sustainable business models that create products or services with a social benefit.

At the training workshops you'll have the space to think and explore within a dynamic environment that will help you evolve your business strategy, sales channels, marketing, and financial mechanics of your venture, with support from people who have been there and done it themselves.

Stage 1 E-Teams attend E1 training.  During this three-day, intensive workshop, teams will focus on identifying and understanding their market, be introduced to strategy mapping and create their milestones list to be included with their E2 grant proposal.

Stage 2 E-Teams attend E2 training. During this three-day, intensive workshop, teams focus on developing a robust action plan with milestones and operational core goals based on deep and extensive strategy mapping.

Who should attend E1 and E2 training?

The training workshops are required for all E-Team Program participants. 

What are the next steps after E2?

E-Team Program participants take part in six tactical coaching sessions (details TBA.)

Read what some participants have said about the workshop:

"(The workshop) definitely took me a bit out of my comfort zone and gave me a broader perspective. It was an intense and valuable experience!"

"Excellent instructor! I really appreciated the structure of the workshop- how exercises were broken down into small, entertaining, manageable bits-- leaving very little chance for boredom or monotony to arise. The content/ psychological elements involved when looking in depth at all possible angles of your business plan-- goes deeper than what I might have expected from this type of workshop. I am coming away with a much more confident grasp on all elements that need consideration- and now I feel like I have the tools and overview to really do much more research and efficient planning. A +++!!" - 2011 VentureLab participant

"(The workshop) provided the time, tools and resources necessary to analyze, critique and share our venture. It was an intense and rewarding experience from which our venture and implementation plan has been strengthened significantly. While our plan has not drastically changed, we were able to think about the venture from new perspectives which provided valuable insight as to how we could address possible problems, develop a stronger business plan, and develop alternative methods of implementation." - 2011 VentureLab participant

"How would I describe the (workshop)? No amount of adjectives could ever do it justice but here are a few I would use: exciting, exhausting, inspiring, humbling, challenging. hilarious, risqué, refreshing, and so much more. The (workshop) is something you have to experience before you can really understand its worth. Not only do you come away with a better understanding of your venture and its place in the market, but also new skills, contacts and even friendships. The instructors are fantastic and it's a chance to mingle with the best and brightest of your peers. I would recommend it to any budding entrepreneur, it's a must." —2010 VentureLab participant

VentureLab in the Press

Back to School for Business Founders by Ian Sanders, Financial Times, September 2012

Understanding the Human Element of Startups: Inside NCIIA's VentureLab by participant Maxime Pinto, Xconomy, September 2011


About the Instructor

James Barlow has worked in the university entrepreneurship space for seven years and has been commercial advisor or commercial director for sixteen start-ups as well as consulting internationally on start-up strategy, enterprise education and training.

Prior to working in higher education, James was a performance coach, motivational speaker and strategy consultant for FTSE-listed companies and also worked in the pharmaceutical industry in sales and sales management. He earned his BSc Honours Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Kent. 

James is currently the Director of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Program at Tufts University's Gordon Institute.



What I learned at VentureLab: a first-hand report

What's the key to launching new technologies in emerging markets? Getting the business models right.

A group of student teams wrestled with focusing their business approaches at NCIIA's Sustainable Vision VentureLab in Cambridge, MA, in August. Participant Maxime Pinto wrote about the experience for Xconomy...

Meet the teams, and learn about their businesses....



2011 BMEStart winners announced!

We're pleased to announce this year's BMEStart winners! Three undergraduate teams are being recognized for designing effective, functional and affordable technology solutions to clinical medical problems:

First place, winning $10,000:
A Minimally Invasive Skin Biopsy Device for Skin Conditions in the Epidermis, Johns Hopkins University

Second place, winning $5,000:
Paper-Based Anemia Diagnosis for Use in Low-Resource Settings, Rice University

Third place, winning $2,500:
Thermoreversible Barrier for Hydrodissection During Ablation, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Read more about the projects!

2011 BMEStart winners

We're pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 BMEStart biomedical design competition for undergraduate students.


First place, winning $10,000:
A Minimally Invasive Skin Biopsy Device for Skin Conditions in the Epidermis, Johns Hopkins University

There are many skin conditions and cancers that are specific to the epidermis including, sebhorrheic keratosis, actinic keratosis, and basal cell carcinoma. There is a need to better diagnose these three conditions through the development of a minimally invasive skin biopsy method that consistently removes the epidermal layer. The current standard of care is using a curved razor blade to shave the layer, a procedure that puts physicians at risk and also does not allow for control of depth. The Johns Hopkins device has been developed to control the depth of skin being cut while protecting the doctor from exposure to the blade. The device has been tested on various skin surfaces and through pathological screening to determine its accuracy. The device and the technique that it uses will significantly reduce patient scarring and bleeding as well as maintain safety for the physician.


Second place, winning $5,000:
Paper-Based Anemia Diagnosis for Use in Low-Resource Settings, Rice University

Anemia is a global health problem that affects 2.1 billion people worldwide, particularly those in less-developed countries. Current point-of-care devices for the diagnosis of anemia are inaccurate, time-consuming, or too expensive for low-resource areas. Unlike the leading gold standard for diagnosis, which uses costly chemically-treated plastic cuvettes (~$1.00 each) to collect blood for measurement, this invention uses filter paper (~$0.02 each) as the medium for blood spotting. Using this platform, Team tru(Hb)lood has developed the AnemiSpec to fulfill the need for a portable, low-cost, accurate, and safe anemia assessment device in developing countries.


Third place, winning $2,500:
Thermoreversible Barrier for Hydrodissection During Ablation, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ablation is a relatively safe, effective, and minimally invasive procedure used to treat lesions in the liver, lungs, kidneys, and heart. To improve the safety of the procedure, hydrodissection is often used; an isotonic fluid is injected between the ablation site and the surrounding healthy tissues to localize damage to the tumor. However, the pressure of the peritoneal cavity and the current isotonic's low viscosity makes it prone to migration during ablation procedures, reducing its barrier efficacy. The University of Wisconsin-Madison team developed a poloxamer  solution that reduces barrier degradation during ablation procedures. The poloxamer solution is able to form a thermoreversible gel as body temperature increases; the concentration of the solution was altered to gel at 32°C, just before body temperature (~37°C). The viscosity of the developed solution was shown to be tenfold greater than the isotonic currently used.


Honorable mentions

ActivAided Orthotics: Low-profile corrective lumbar supportive bracing system for Spondylolisthesis, Carnegie Mellon University

QuanTube: A Next Generation Replacement Gastric Feeding Device, Johns Hopkins University

Automated Cancer Detection and Segmentation in Prostate Histopathology, Rutgers University

Hydraulic Ambulance Stretcher, ITESM Campus Monterrey



Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Design of Energy Efficient Human-Powered Transportation Systems

Western Michigan University, 2011 - $8,000

With this proposed grant, Western Michigan University faculty will work toward two goals: incorporating into existing courses the concepts of innovative design and entrepreneurial process with an emphasis on energy efficiency, and creating a new capstone course for seniors in which they create human-powered transportation systems (HPTS) and work toward commercializing them.

WMU has participated for several years in two HPTS student competitions: the Sunseeker, a solar car competition, and the Chainless Challenge, in which students design chainless human-powered hydraulic bicycles. In the capstone course, the focus will be on designing cost effective human-powered land vehicles suitable for transporting loads in rural environments of the developing world.

NCIIA has awarded a planning grant to further develop this project concept.

Open-Source Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Capstone Course: Development and Implementation

Minneapolis College of Art and Design, 2011 - $8,000

As proposed, this grant supports the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) in integrating a capstone course into its fully online Sustainable Design Online program. The capstone course will be planned by an online committee of eight experts from a range fields, including business, design, online education, and technology. The committee’s progress will be shared through a public blog, with course development deliverables including curricula with learning outcomes, core content, teaching methodologies, and appropriate assessment frameworks.

The goal of the new course is to spur development of E-Teams and foster student entrepreneurship at MCAD. The plan is for online E-Teams consisting of students from around the world will move through the design process (ideation, concept, prototype, business and market plan) and receive entrepreneurship training and support. Ultimately their designs will be measured for their global, social, and environmental impact. The course will lay the foundation for the first fully online MA program in sustainable design in the world.

NCIIA has awarded a planning grant to further develop this project concept.

Medical Device Innovation Program (MDIP) of the Division of Plastic Surgery of Northwestern University

Northwestern University, 2011 - $30,000

This grant supports the creation of the Medical Device Innovation Program (MDIP) at Northwestern University. The program, a collaboration between the Division of Plastic Surgery in the Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern, will pair up engineering students, postdoctoral fellows and medical residents in generating new medical devices in areas of unmet clinical needs in plastic surgery. The goal is to translate novel medical devices into businesses either through licensing or by forming start-up companies.

The MDIP program was successfully piloted in late 2010. NCIIA grant money will enable the MDIP team to expand the quantity and quality of student projects that are funded to develop prototypes.

Spark: A University-level Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Florida Atlantic University, 2011 - $36,000

This grant supports development of the Spark incubator program at Florida Atlantic University. The Spark program, initially developed with a spring 2010 NCIIA Course & Program planning grant, gives FAU students physical space in which to work, with dedicated basic hardware, software, and a small seed budget to help validate their early-stage ventures. Spark teams will attend biweekly speaker events; have a personal mentor and a centralized web portal; and at the end of the year a competition will be held, attended by seed investors and community leaders.

Students and faculty from across the university will be able to participate in the Spark program. The ultimate goals of the program are to provide an experiential learning experience for students and to connect the existing semi-scattered innovation/entrepreneurship activities on campus, improving communication and collaboration between colleges, centers, and institutes.

A Virtual Incubator at Penn State Berks (VIB) to Foster Student Innovations

Penn State Berks, 2011 - $19,372

Since its inception in 2009, students in Penn State Berks’ E-SHIP minor have developed new venture ideas involving information technology (IT), including mobile applications and cloud-based services. However, students have found it hard to prototype and test their ideas.

This grant will support the development of a Virtual Incubator (VIB) at Penn State Berks to help E-Teams get their IT ideas off the ground. The VIB is conceptualized as a virtual environment that provides E-Teams with high-end IT resources as well as technical and business support through partnerships with academic and industry experts. The VIB will consist of a host server, a sandbox (virtual IT resource pool) where students can develop and test their ideas, a software repository, and a website.