SAN DIEGO—Eyes On Eyecare has announced its latest initiative to elevate new developments in optometry with its first Optometry Innovation Awards (OIA). Exclusively sponsored by Dompé, the awards will recognize and encourage transformative advances in eyecare by bringing together optometry students, optometrist problem-solvers, and creators from all over the globe. Eyes On Eyecare will award $20,000 to the winner, $12,500 to second place, and $7,500 to third place, which can be used to advance their innovations to market.

Pitches are currently being accepted by an expert panel of judges in the eyecare space with decades of combined experience as well as entrepreneurs with a focus in start-ups and bringing new concepts to the eyecare market. After the judges’ decisions, finalists will be honored live at Eyes On 2023, held November 18-20, 2022.

“We are excited to showcase the visionaries revolutionizing optometry today and inspire others to develop and share ideas that improve patient care and advance the practice,” said Matt Geller, OD, CEO and founder, CovalentCreative, the parent company of Eyes On Eyecare. “The Optometry Innovation Awards are designed to be a catalyst for discovery, and we couldn’t think of a better sponsor than Dompé, who has been rigorously pushing boundaries for over 100 years.”

According to a report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, an estimated 50 percent of U.S. annual GDP growth can be linked to increases in innovation. Yet, in a recent Eyes On Eyecare survey of 421 optometrists, more than half of respondents rated innovation by their peers within their specialty below a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10, despite the fact that two-thirds of respondents ranked the importance of innovation to the future success of optometry as a “9” or “10” on a scale of 1-10.

To apply, concepts must improve or have an application for patient care, workflow and efficiency for optometry practices, the state of the optometric profession, eyecare marketing campaigns that raise awareness among consumers, or accessibility to education within the eyecare community.

Applicants will be judged objectively against the following rubric:

  • 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

The deadline to apply is Aug. 31. All ideas that address these issues are welcome. If you have a pitch to share or want to learn more, please visit: