Illustration of a person with a light bulb over their head, indicating an idea.

January 24 event to showcase innovation at Miami and beyond

A highway sign reads "Innovation."

Innovation at Miami and Beyond, a free event for the Miami community, area business and industry leaders, and the public, will be held Thursday, January 24. Sponsored by Miami University’s Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship in collaboration with the Office of the President,  the event will include the following sessions:

9:30am-10:00am (322 McGuffey Hall) — Coffee and networking

10:00am-11:30am (322 McGuffey Hall) — A plenary session involving TED Talk-like presentations from innovators representing regional business and industry, local government, business incubators, and Miami University alumni, including:

  • Brian Cobb, Chief Innovation Officer of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
  • Summer Crenshaw, COO/CMO and Co-Founder of tilr
  • Darrin M. Redus, Sr., Vice President and Executive Director of the Cincinnati USA Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator
  • Joshua Smith, City Manager of Hamilton, Ohio

Miami University’s president, Greg Crawford, will provide the welcome and opening remarks.

11:30am-12:00pm (322 McGuffey Hall) — “Leveraging Academics and Business: A New Approach for Innovation at Miami University,” presented by Jim Oris, Associate Provost for Research. Taking advantage of the excellence of its faculty and undergraduate student talent in entrepreneurship, emerging media, design thinking and STEM, Miami University is developing idle technologies into startup companies. This new era of university technology commercialization will Leverage Academics and Business to vet and determine market viability and incentivize and support creation of new businesses in an academic, laboratory-type setting. The “LAB” combines the full resources, relationships, and highly-ranked best practices of Miami University with the strong track record, networks, and best practices of Cincinnati’s nationally recognized startup community.

12:00pm-1:15pm (322 McGuffey Hall) — Lunch with the presenters

1:30pm-2:30pm (320 King Library)Burr Zimmerman of Urban Venture Group will lead a session on forming partnerships and applying for Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants, which fund academic-industry partnerships that lead to commercialization, and NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps), which assists college faculty, staff, and students in validating the market potential of technologies and launching startup companies. Zimmerman will also lead individual coaching sessions for Miami faculty immediately following the event.

2:30pm-3:00pm (320 King Library) Xiao-Wen Cheng, of Miami’s Microbiology Department, will talk about his experience in the I-Corps@Ohio program, which is modeled after NSF I-Corp. Cheng will describe how he began to explore commercialization of his research and how I-Corps@Ohio focused his efforts.

2:45pm-5:00pm — Burr Zimmerman will be available for individual grant application coaching for Miami faculty in 15-minute sessions.

To attend, please register by January 23.


Bright idea image by kalhh via Pixabay, used under Creative Commons CC0 license/public domain. Innovation sign image by Nick Youngson for Alpha Stock Images via picpedia.org, used under Creative Commons 3.0 license.

A lightbulb sits within a thought bubble drawn with chalk on a small blackboard.

Save the date for “Innovation at Miami and Beyond” event

Xiao-Wen Cheng and other participants listen to an I-Corps@Ohio presentation.
Miami University associate professor of microbiology Xiao-Wen Cheng (second from right) will talk about his experience participating in I-Corps@Ohio at the Innovation at Miami and Beyond event being held January 24.

On January 24, OARS will offer an event for the Miami University community and the public titled “Innovation at Miami and Beyond.” While the details are still being finalized, the event is expected to include:

  • A plenary session in which innovators from Miami and the southwestern Ohio business community deliver TED talk-style presentations and participate in a moderated panel discussion.
  • A session on NSF’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program and forming partnerships and applying for Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants, led by Burr Zimmerman of Urban Venture Group. STTR grants fund academic-industry partnerships that lead to commercialization. NSF I-Corps assists college faculty, staff, and students in validating the market potential of technologies and launching startup companies. Zimmerman will also lead individual coaching sessions for researchers immediately following the event.
  • A presentation by Xiao-Wen Cheng of Miami’s Microbiology Department about his experience in the I-Corps@Ohio program, which is modeled after NSF I-Corp. Cheng will describe how he began to explore commercialization of his research and how I-Corps@Ohio focused his efforts.

The event will be held from 10:00am to 2:00pm and morning coffee and lunch will be provided to attendees. Watch your inbox for an invitation!


Lightbulb photo by TeroVesalainen via Pixabay, public domain/Creative Commons CC0 license. Photo of Xiao-Wen Cheng at I-Corps@Ohio courtesy of Nikki Modlich, Program Manager, I-Corps@Ohio.