The National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) is pleased to announce the 2022 cohort for the NNCI Nanotechnology Entrepreneurship Challenge (NTEC). Designed as a pre-NSF I-Corps experience, NTEC provides experiential entrepreneurship education for student-led teams.

Eight teams from five NNCI sites were selected to participate in the NTEC Accelerator program, which offers a seven-week virtual experience where NTEC teams learn about the importance of customer discovery, business model generation, and how to leverage NNCI resources to develop a nanotechnology-enabled minimum viable product (MVP). Throughout the experience, NTEC students have access to NNCI staff and facilities and receive mentorship from entrepreneurs with experience in nanotechnology start-ups. In May, the teams will share their journey during an NTEC Showcase where external panelists will select the top NNCI NTEC team. The eight teams and their projects are:

Student Lead: Faisal Adams
Mentor: Marc Michel
Title: Effective acid mine drainage treatment with composite nanotube-polymer membranes
NNCI Site: Virginia Tech (NanoEarth)
NNCI Contacts: Matthew Hull and Tonya Pruitt

Student Team: Yi Shiou Duh, Sophia Lugo
Mentor: Mark Brongersma
Title: Illuminate.Brain
NNCI Site: nano@stanford
NNCI Contact: Daniella Duran

Student Lead: Aditya Garg
Mentors: Wei Zhou and Peter Vikesland
Title: Multiresonant Plasmonic Meshes
NNCI Site: Virginia Tech (NanoEarth)
NNCI Contacts: Matthew Hull and Tonya Pruitt

Student Lead: Matthew McGlennen
Mentor: Stephen Warnat
Title: Microfabricated impedance sensor system for biofilm detection
NNCI Site: Montana Nanotechnology Facility (MONT)
NNCI Contact: Andrew Lingley

Student Team: Lauren Takiguchi (lead), Bolarin Lawrence, George Gauss
Mentor: Yves Theriault
Title: Functionalized DNA Origami-siRNA Nanotube Complex to Reverse Osteoarthritis
NNCI Site: San Diego Nanotechnology Infrastructure (SDNI)
NNCI POC: Yves Theriault

Student Lead: Wesley Allen Williams
Mentor: Shyam Aravamudhan
Title: MPI nanoparticles for the sensing and remediation of toxic incident anthropogenically-derived nanoplastics in the hydrosphere
NNCI Site: Southeastern Nanotechnology Infrastructure Corridor (SENIC), North Carolina A&T State University
NNCI Contacts: Paul Joseph, Quinn Spadola

Student Team: Amer Yaghi (lead), Tom Park, Abdal Abdulhameed, Elio Li
Mentors: Sheng Xu and Yves Theriault
Title: Bio-inspired self-powered and flexible wearable device for continuous detection and treatment of Parkinson's Disease
NNCI Site: San Diego Nanotechnology Infrastructure (SDNI)
NNCI Contact: Yves Theriault

Student Lead: Ge Zhang
Mentor: Anthony Kovscek
Title: Rapid pH sensor on a chip
NNCI Site: nano@stanford
NNCI Contact: Daniella Duran

The 2021 US National Nanotechnology Initiative Strategic Plan calls for “innovative mechanisms to realize the transformational societal benefits that flow from faster commercialization of nanotechnologies.” The NNCI is well-positioned and resourced to contribute such mechanisms through its NNCI-wide Innovation Ecosystem, which focuses on training a new generation of “nano-savvy” innovators and entrepreneurs, identifying and meeting the unique needs of industry users, particularly start-ups and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and supporting the translation of nano-enabled innovations to society. For further information, please contact Matthew Hull