The Optometry Innovation Awards made history in 2022 with the first-ever program to award $40,000 in prize money to three top optometrist innovators. Looking to submit in 2023? Read on for more about this groundbreaking initiative.

Spaceman illustration

Launch the future of optometry

Join us in congratulating the three winners of the inaugural 2022 Optometry Innovation Awards! Watch the 2022 awards ceremony here.


Janelle Davison, OD
Paradeyem Optical Software

Paradeyem was developed to resolve the threats to the private practitioner: revenue loss, efficiency loss, calculation errors, lack of transparency, and turnover.


Elise Brisco, OD, FAAO, FCOVD

We combined the most valuable real estate with the power of reading glasses to create a Vision Enhancing Phone Case that allows you to see on and off the phone without having to search for readers.


Janice Luk, OD

Eyethos’ mission is to create a product that educates and brings awareness to how eye beauty trends can affect ocular health, starting with a cleanser for eyelashes.

Accelerate discovery

Innovation (noun): a feasible relevant offering such as a product, service, process, or experience with a viable business model that is perceived as new and is adopted by customers.

Daniel Epshtein

“Innovation in healthcare is the driving force that improves the lives of both patients and providers. Eyes on Eyecare has recognized the importance of innovation and is investing in the future of optometry. The Optometry Innovation Awards is an amazing opportunity for our innovative colleagues to further their work and improve our collective profession.”

- Daniel Epshtein, OD, FAAO

Damon Dierker

“I’m excited to see that Eyes On Eyecare is promoting and recognizing innovation in our profession. Optometry has and will continue to rely on the efforts of talented individuals who work and sacrifice to drive meaningful change that improves the lives of our patients and the success of our practices.”

- Damon Dierker, OD, FAAO

Stephanie L

“The future of optometry depends on innovation. More innovation results in the advancement of our profession as a whole and spearheads a new path for all of us.”

- Stephanie L. Woo, OD, FAAO, FSLS

What your peers think about innovation

Eyes On Eyecare surveyed 421 optometrists and students in Q1 2022 and uncovered the following data points:


How important do you believe innovation is for patient care?
(1-10 scale)


How important do you believe innovation is for the future of the optometric profession? (1-10 scale)


The top 3 obstacles that
block innovation.

Diagnostics software & tech workflows & patient access

Categories of innovation ODs believe are most important to eyecare now.

Take a deeper dive
into the data

Thinking of submitting next year? Get a head start on your research by downloading the Optometry Innovation Report. Discover insights from your peers on the state of innovation in optometry + get tips from eyecare entrepreneurs like Stephanie Woo, OD on launching an optometric business.

Entering to win
The step-by-step process

Take a look at the process for entering so you can be ready when the 2023 submission window opens.

Step one

Dream big

Applicants must have an idea that falls under one of the following areas of innovation.

  • Improving patient care

  • Improving workflow and efficiency for optometry practices

  • Elevating the state of the optometric profession

  • Raising awareness among consumers

  • Enhancing educational accessibility within the eyecare community

Dream big
Read up on the requirements
Step two

Read up on the requirements

Before you jump in headfirst, make sure you fully understand what’s required for all innovators who enter to win. Big prize money comes with high expectations and in order to win, you’ll need to bring your A-game.

Step three

Create your pitch deck

Make sure your pitch deck includes the following sections:

  • Introduction

  • What problem are you solving?

  • Why are you solving this problem?

  • Market analysis

  • Management structure

  • In-depth product/service breakdown

  • Go-to-market strategy

  • Financial projections

  • What would you do with the prize money if you win?

  • SWOT analysis

Create your pitch deck
Step four

Take center stage

The 2023 finalists will be announced Fall 2023 and will appear live on the virtual center stage at Eyes On 2024 in November. During this special ceremony session, the winners will be announced in real-time in front of 5,000+ optometrists, ophthalmologists, and industry professionals. Next year, this could be you!

Step five

Win Part of
$40,000 in prizes

What will you do with the money if you win? Now it’s time to start dreaming about how your idea can impact the future of optometry and enhance patient care.

Win Part of$40,000 in prizes

The judge's rubric

An expert panel of judges will use the following criteria to pick three winners.

• Quality of presentation and thought process •
• Market size and market need •
• Benefits to the target audience •
• Out-of-the-box thinking for the proposed solution to the problem/differentiation from other solutions •
• Financial analysis •
• Monetization model •
• Competitive analysis •
• Team •

What are the requirements?

Applicants will be required to complete a submission form and a pitch deck. Details for the 2023 program deadline to come. Applicants must reside in the United States or Canada.

If I am selected to be a finalist, is there additional information or commitment required?

If you are selected as a finalist, all applicants MUST agree to film a video and appear live (via livestream) at Eyes On 2024 in November 2023.

My idea is still in development. How quickly must it go to market to be eligible for this program?

It must be feasible for the product or service to be available in the market within 24 months from the application date.

I’ve already launched my product/service. Is it still eligible?

Products or services that are already profitable and operative businesses will not be considered.

I began a crowdfunding campaign for my idea. Can I still apply?

A product currently in crowdfunding or other funding websites is still eligible for consideration.

Can I send in more than one pitch?

An individual may apply with multiple pitches.

Who is eligible for this program?

This program is open to optometrists and optometry students enrolled in an accredited program.

What does my pitch deck need to include?

1. Introduction
• What is the problem you are solving?
• Why are you solving this problem?
2. Market analysis
3. Management structure
4. In-depth product/service breakdown
5. Go to market strategy
6. Financial projections
7. What would you do with the prize money if you win?

8. SWOT analysis

Who is judging the applications?

This program will be judged by a panel of doctors from the eyecare space with decades of combined experience and entrepreneurs with a focus in start-ups and bringing new concepts to the eyecare market.