The Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) program, funded by the National Science Foundation, aims to accelerate academic research projects that are ready to move toward commercialization. Through training and mentorship, program participants learn about the commercialization process and test the value of their business idea by talking to potential customers. Program participants are also able to dive deeper into the specific needs of their industry via our industry-specific bootcamps. Currently, the program offers additional programming for Life Science and CleanTech projects. Those who do well in the program may apply for up to $2,500 of funding to continue testing their business hypotheses via customer discovery. This program is excellent preparation for anyone who wants to participate in business plan competitions, seek gap funding, or apply for further federal funding (I-Corps Teams grant, SBIR/STTR grants, etc.).
Teams are expected to complete the first challenge before they can proceed to the main program. The challenge includes completing a short training, and interviewing 3 customers in one week.