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What is I-Corps?

The I-Corps program was created by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2011 to help move academic research funded by NSF to market.  NSF offers select team participants from US academic institutions the opportunity to participate in a special, accelerated 7-week version of Stanford University’s Lean LaunchPad course that is hosted by I-Corps Nodes periodically throughout the year called a National Cohort.  Acceptance to a National Cohort is accompanied by a $50,000 grant to support team travel to the National Cohort workshops and also commercialization efforts that include customer travel, prototyping materials, and/or research student pay. The I-Corps program engages teams of scientists, engineers, and researchers to understand the potential value of their technology and move technologies out of the lab and into the market by talking to potential customers, partners and competitors and encountering the challenges and uncertainty of successful technology commercialization.

I-Corps Node’s National Cohort Expected Outcomes:

  • Understand the process for determining market opportunity for a new technology
  • Gain perspective on the market/industry/customers
  • Enhance the probability of successful commercialization
  • Shorten the commercialization timeframe and make informed go or no-go decisions
  • Significantly increase the likelihood of SBIR/STTR funding
  • $50,000 grant award for travel, prototyping materials, and/or research student pay
  • Build relationships with NSF and future grant prospects
  • Learn about entrepreneurship and commercialization

I-Corps Approach:

  • Emphasizes experiential learning and feedback
  • Challenges teams to create their own business model canvas
  • Values revision and continual improvement of business development elements
  • Expects teams to be inquisitive, motivated, and capable of self management
  • Full contact immersive class

Click here to visit the NSF I-Corps Website