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Eyes On Eyecare now accepting pitches for 2024 Optometry Innovation Awards

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Eyes On Eyecare is officially accepting applications for the third annual Optometry Innovation Awards (OIA), inviting optometrists and optometry students from across North America to submit their pitches.

Give me a refresher on the OIA.

Sponsored exclusively by Dompé, the OIA was launched in 2022 as a way to recognize and encourage transformative advances in eyecare among optometry professionals—students, problem-solvers, and creators—from the United States and Canada.

See here for coverage of last year’s awards.

And what’s the goal of this program?

There are three main objectives:

  • Increase the number of optometrists pursuing innovative and entrepreneurial ideas in optometry
  • Improve the quality of innovative ideas from optometrists
  • Provide education, resources, and connections to help optometrists bring innovative ideas into mainstream production

What are participants asked to do?

Optometrists and optometry students will present their innovation-driven pitches to a panel of expert judges with decades of eye care experience as well as entrepreneurs focused on start-ups and bringing new concepts to the marketplace.

And what’s required to apply?

In order to apply, concepts must fall under one of the following areas of innovation:

  1. Improving patient care
  2. Enhancing workflow and efficiency for optometry practices
  3. Elevating the state of the optometric profession
  4. Raising awareness among consumers
  5. Enhancing educational accessibility within the eyecare community.

Who qualifies to enter?

Optometrists living within North America (U.S. and Canada) are welcome, or current optometry students enrolled in an accredited program.

What kind of pitches are accepted?

Well, that’s up to you; however, you can see last year’s top three winners here for ideas.

Note: Optometry student Mariam Labib came in first place after developing breakthrough virtual reality (VR) software designed to elevate the visual system during athletic performance.

Gotcha. And how will applicants be judged?

Their pitches will be assessed based on a few areas:

  • Quality of presentation and thought process
  • Market size and market need
  • Benefits to the target audience
  • Out-of-the-box thinking for the proposed solution to the problem/differentiation from other solutions
  • Financial analysis
  • Monetization model
  • Competitive analysis
  • Team (organization, staffing, and overall quality of members)

Anything else required?

All participating applicants must be willing to submit a finalist video and appear (live!) at Eyes On Eyecare’s Eyes On 2025 virtual event, November 15-16, 2024.

And are there any prizes associated with the winning pitches?

But of course. These earnings can be used to advance applicants’ innovations to market:

  • First place: $10,000
  • Second place: $6,000
  • Third place: $4,000

So when are the deadlines for this?

Deadline to submit your pitch is 11:59 pm PST on July 31, 2024.

Following the judges’ decisions, the top three finalists will be notified by August 19, 2024, with the winners honored in November 2024 during Eyes On 2025.

And where can I submit my pitch?

Click here to submit and learn more.

Bonus: Applicants are not limited to one pitch—optometrists may apply with multiple pitches!

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