Interface Ecology Lab wins NSF I-Corps Award for ZeroTouch

KernePrincipal Investigator Andruid Kerne, Entrepreneurial Lead Jon Moeller, and Business Mentor Jamie Rhodes have been awarded an Innovation Corps grant by the National Science Foundation to sustain development of “ZeroTouch: High-Performance Sensing for Multi-Touch and Free-Air Interaction.”

I-Corps awards take the most promising research projects in U.S. university laboratories and turn them into startups.

New venture teams are the heart of I-Corps. Kerne is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and director of the Interface Ecology Lab. Moeller is a graduate student, who sstars with ZeroTouch in a recent Best Buy future innovators commercial, which vaulted Texas A&M into the national spotlight for leadership in STEM education. Rhodes is the dDirector of new ventures for the A&M System’s Office of Technology Commercialization.

I-Corps awards can be won for basic research, initially developed through regular NSF grants, which shows immediate potential for broader applicability and impact in the commercial world. The ZeroTouch team is participating in an NSF course on forming a startup venture. Through focused activities and long hours, team members are learning to practice entrepreneurship and developing a business model canvas for ZeroTouch.

Kerne said, “I am tired of reading about startups in Silicon Valley. We are ready to change the world with technology from Aggieland!”