National I-Corps

National I-Corps

The National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-CorpsTM) program is designed to prepare scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and to accelerate the transfer of cutting-edge, NSF-funded research into commercial success. Through extensive customer engagement, teams are able to validate potential applications of their technology. The curriculum is an immersive 7-week program designed to avoid building a product that no one wants; the number one reason startups fail.

Teams—composed of academic researchers, student entrepreneurs and business mentors—participate in the curriculum via online instruction and on-site activities through one of the NSF I-CorpsTM Nodes. Teams are expected to complete at least fifteen customer interviews a week, which means that over the 7-week course, teams will have contact with over 100 potential customers. For more information on the I-Corps program, visit the NSF I-Corps Teams page.

Benefits of the Program

  • Understanding why your technology has value and to whom.
  • Finding a market for your technology that had not been previously considered.
  • Gaining an appreciation for what it takes to commercialize technology and the barriers to adoption.
  • An expanded network of like-minded peers, instructors, investors, customers, and mentors.
  • An accelerated approach to prevent years of wasted time, money and resources.
  • The program is supported by NSF-Certified I-Corps instructors and a $50,000 grant from the NSF.