Pioneer Weekend 3.0

Event Portal:
April 7th – April 9th 2017

Pioneer Weekend is a three day start-up brainstorming competition hosted by the Wilson Center of Innovation and Leadership at Grinnell College. The event combines student collaboration, mentor feedback, and idea presentation to allow students to explore what it would mean to found a viable startup business.

At the event, I formed a team with three other Grinnell first year students in order to develop the organization “Why Eye Care” and win 3rd place. This proposed business would use techniques recently employed in physics research in order to manufacture machines which could perform cataracts surgery more cheaply than current manufacturers. The difference in machine pricing would stem from the cost of the laser, our physics specialist discovered that we could mimic the traditionally used Femtosecond Laser using a Fourier Domain Mode Locked Neodymium Doped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet Laser, thus allowing us to reduce the cost to clinics of cataract surgery machines and begin working to decrease the cost of the cataracts procedure for patients. Why Eye Care would have long term goals of aiding humanitarian efforts to cure blindness by making the cataracts procedure more accessible and distributable.