The NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) program was created in 2011 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to reduce the time and risk associated with translating promising ideas and technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace. The Illinois I-Corps Site was one of the first three I-Corps sites launched in the National Innovation Network in 2013, and later became part of the Midwest I-Corps Node in 2017.
The I-Corps curriculum is built on a special, accelerated version of Stanford University’s Lean LaunchPad course, created by Professor Steve Blank. Professors in the course focus on evidence-based entrepreneurship and encourage in-depth customer discovery. Throughout the program, attendees will learn to use the Business Model Canvas, Agile Development, and Customer Development to advance their business ideas.
The NSF I-Corps Hub: Great Lakes Region is part of the National Innovation Network, a national network of NSF-funded researchers from I-Corps Teams and Hubs. Working together, this network of thinkers addresses America's need for innovation education. To achieve the goal of creating a collaborative network across the region, the Great Lakes Regional I-Corps Hub leverages resources and expertise from each university and hosts world-class training programs for scientists and engineers.