- Frank Brodie, WG’14/MD’14 (team leader)
- Rob Bressler, WG’14
MacuLens is a novel, yet easily applied, technology that dramatically reduces glare, blind spots and discomfort caused by bright lights—helping patients, athletes and consumers see more clearly at night by. MacuLens’ potential product portfolio includes glasses, contacts and intraocular (surgical) lenses, as well as film that can be applied to nearly any surface including protective eyewear, windshields and headlamps. The current domestic market for anti-glare eye care technology is more than $790 million.
Over 10 million and 38 million people globally suffer from macular degeneration and cataracts, respectively. In addition, over 4 million patients receive Lasik surgery each year. There is a clear market and need for MacuLens.
Initially, the MacuLens polymer will be used in two products targeting athletes (the “sports market”), and patients who suffer from complications with Lasik surgery, cataracts, or macular degeneration (the “healthcare market”). The mission of the MacuLens team is to offer a painless and inexpensive solution to the widespread problem of impaired vision.
Many competing “tinted lens” and “night driving” technologies reduce glare by lowering the amount of light that is transmitted to the eye, which decreases overall quality of vision (“visual acuity” and “contrast sensitivity”). MacuLens’ competitive advantage is that its polymer maximizes functional light transmission to the eye. The resulting product is highly effective at reducing glare and discomfort, while maintaining full visual acuity. This is supported by data from preliminary clinical trials conducted at University of California San Francisco.
And the Winner Is…
On April 25, 2013, MacuLens won Michelson’s People’s Choice Award. While the Venture Finals judges deliberated over the top three prizes, the “Great Eight” Finalist teams competed for the Michelson “People’s Choice Award,” which allowed the audience of hundreds to vote on their favorite elevator pitch. This year the crowd favorite was MacuLens whose eyeglass lens technology helps reduce the glare of high intensity auto headlights. MacuLens also won the Venture Finals second place award of $15,000. MacuLens is also a recipient of a Wharton Venture Award which provides a $10,000 grant to allow startups to work full-time on a venture over the summer.
- David A. Cohen, PAR’14/PAR’16; CEO, Chief Investment Officer & Co-Founder, Karlin Asset Management, Inc.
- Maxine Gowen, WG’02; President & CEO, Trevena, Inc.
- Richard Perlman, W’68; Founder & Executive Chairman, ExamWorks Group, Inc.
- Rich Riley, W’96; Former Executive Vice President, Americas, Yahoo! Inc.
- MacuLens [Wharton Profile via Archive.org]
- ZenKars Wins Wharton Business Plan Competition Perlman Grand Prize Offering a Peaceful Buying Experience for Used Car Buyers [2013-04-25. News. Wharton School] [Alt. Link]
- 2013 Wharton Business Plan Competition Winners Announced. Previous Participants and Competition Organizers Share Their Thoughts On The Competition’s Value to Wharton Students and Future Entrepreneurs [2013-04-24. Clear Admit]
- Inventors gather at final PennVention competition: Grand prize of $5,000 went to Wharton School graduate students Robert Bressler and Frank Brodie for MacuLens [2013-04-17. Yolanda Chen. The Daily Pennsylvanian]
- 2013 Wharton Venture Award Winners Announced! [2013-03-20. Clare Leinweber. Senior Associate Director. Wharton Entrepreneurship]