NSF I-Corps Kickoff in Atlanta

One of the big projects I’m involved in is the CAM2 image analysis team in Purdue Universities ECE Department. Headed by Professor Lu, CAM2 seeks to synthesize the vast array of public cameras across the world to create a platform where users can easily select and execute image analysis’s on the accumulated datasets.

The I-Corps program specifically accepts roughly 20 teams into each co-hort (I believe there are 3 per year) to investigate whether the research technology is commercially viable. For our team, our Principal Investigator is Professor Lu, our Entrepreneurial Lead is Kyle McNulty, and I am serving as the Business Mentor. Although young relative to other business mentors, I think it will be an advantage as far as relating and working with Kyle and Dr. Lu as well as working in a more agile Business Model development environment such as the one the Business Model Canvas requires.

Over the next 6 weeks we will use the $50,000 I-Corps grant to travel and interview an abundance of potential “customers” / users of our hypothesized application – using image analysis to allow retail stores understand and react to the behavior and intent of their customers. So far we have conducted store level interviews with Nike, Microsoft, Bloomingdales, and Banana Republic to name a few and are looking to move up the corporate decision making ladder in the coming weeks.

With a great team, I’m sure we will be able to thoroughly evaluate this market segment using the Business Model Canvas and hopefully we’ll have a continue or don’t continue answer founded in solid market evaluation at the end of it all. Nonetheless, I’m going to try and write about the progress each week if not for my own records and sanity.

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