The Inventor’s Patent Academy Webinar Series: Promoting Equitable Innovation

December 11, 2023
11:00 am
12:00 pm


Partner Series

Sponsored by Qualcomm, this WEPAN webinar series will explore topics covered in The Inventor’s Patent Academy (TIPA), a free three-part course that supports current and future inventors in understanding patenting, intellectual property, and how to navigate the patenting system. TIPA, created in partnership by Qualcomm and Invent Together, promotes equitable innovation ecosystems by providing open access to patenting information often withheld from marginalized inventors. 

The first webinar in this WEPAN series aligns with Module 1 of TIPA and features a panel discussion with four inventors who will share their patent successes and challenges as well as strategies, tools, and tips for navigating your own patent journey.

TIPA is a six-hour course you can complete at your own pace. Each of the three modules is broken down into lessons of approximately 10 minutes, allowing for completion on a timeline that works for you. To learn more about The Inventor's Patent Academy and to take Module 1, visit



Available to WEPAN members only. Log-in required.
Available to WEPAN members only. Log-in required.


Maria Artunduaga, MD, MTM, MPH

Maria Artunduaga is a Colombian-born physician-scientist and inventor with 50+ prizes, publications in Nature, NEJM, PNAS, Genetics in Medicine, and seven issued patents. She decided to leave a surgical career to found Samay (to "breathe deeply" in Quechua) after losing her grandmother to a COPD crisis. She's raised $4.1M in non-dilutive grants and investors to build a chest wearable + AI-powered respiratory health and management platform. Before Samay, Maria completed postdoctoral studies in Human Genetics at Harvard Medical School, started a plastic surgery residency at The University of Chicago, and completed two master's degrees, one in Global Public Health at the University of Washington and another in Translational Medicine at the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco. She lives in Mountain View, CA, with her husband, one-year-old daughter, and two pets. In her free time, she enjoys flamenco dancing and singing, traveling the world, and fostering diversity in and outside the workplace. 

Erika Dillard, PHD, MD

Erika Dillard is a physician entrepreneur trained in neurosurgery and translational research. She earned an MD/PhD from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, where she focused on developing an oncolytic virus for treatment of malignant brain tumors. During her neurosurgical training, Dr. Dillard realized the importance of patient safety and quality improvement in surgical outcomes. As a fellow in the Patents2Product postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Memphis, Dr. Dillard was provided the opportunity to combine these interests with her passion for innovation through entrepreneurship. This led her to found PopCheck Technologies, an early-stage healthcare technology company using AI-powered remote monitoring biosensors with connected digital platform to remotely monitor surgical patients at high risk for complications, such as venous clots. Aside from medicine and entrepreneurship, Dr. Dillard is a devoted advocate for diversifying the healthcare workforce to ensure it is reflective of the communities it serves. 

TJ Falohun, MS

TJ Falohun is an early stage medical technology entrepreneur with industry experience and graduate training in biomedical engineering. He is the co-founder of two medical technology companies, Olera & Ai-Ris, that have been awarded over $2.8M from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. His technical background includes development of optical implantable biosensors for chronic disease management as a graduate researcher at Texas A&M University and industry experience as a biomedical engineer at Pfizer. TJ is also the recipient of the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, holds a patent for the use of deep learning for ocular disease diagnosis, and is an inductee to the Texas Business Hall of Fame as a “Future Business Leader.”

Tiffany Norwood, MBA

Tiffany Norwood is the founder and CEO of Tribetan. Tribetan teaches everyone entrepreneurship and innovation literacy for success in business, school, and life and has been featured at venues such as the European Parliament, Yale, the USPTO, Bishop McNamara High School, University of South Carolina, the South African Embassy and more. In the 1990s, at 27 years old, Tiffany raised over $670 million dollars to fund a start-up. This funding was used to build the first global digital radio platform; launch three satellites into space, including XM Radio; support the development of MP3/MP4 technologies; and, invest in a new generation of digital radio receivers. As one of the few global serial entrepreneurs and the first successful Black female tech entrepreneur, Tiffany’s career has spanned 52 countries, 30+ years, 7 start-ups, and a patent.Tiffany has an MBA from Harvard and a Bachelor’s in economics with a concentration in statistics and electrical engineering from Cornell University. 

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