The 2023 Optometry Innovation Awards honored three top optometrist innovators with $40,000 in prize money to take their concepts to the next level. Looking to submit in 2024? Read on for more about this groundbreaking initiative.


Join us in congratulating the three winners of the 2023 Optometry Innovation Awards! Watch the 2023 awards ceremony here.


Mariam Labib, Optometry Student, Improove VR


Peter Huffman, OD & Amanda Bennett, LDO, EyeHR


Kaleb Abbott, OD, MS, FAAO,
SunSnap Kids


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

What your peers think about innovation

In a survey of 421 optometrists and students, Eyes On Eyecare uncovered the following:


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.

Launch your journey as an entrepreneur

If you have an innovative idea and are looking for next steps to launch your business, download Eyes On Eyecare's new ebook, How to Launch a Startup in the Ophthalmic Industry. This free resource offers insights from Eyes On Eyecare’s founders and covers creating a vision and strategy for your concept, pricing, funding your business, legal considerations, and more.

Entering to win

Want to submit in 2024? Take a look at the requirements to get ready.

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

Step two

Read up on the requirements

Before you jump in headfirst, make sure you fully understand what’s required for all innovators that 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. This could be you!

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

Dream big

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 •


Below is everything you need to get started. We can't wait to see what you come up with!

What are the requirements?

Applicants are required to complete a submission form and a pitch deck. Applicants must reside in the Unites 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.

Click here to stay up-to-date on next year's optometry INNOVATION AWARDS PROGRAM.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.