What is I-Corps™?

The I-Corps™ (short for Innovation Corps) 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 the sustainability 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.

What you get out of the program…

  • A greater understanding of 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 through seasoned, I-Corps™ certified instructors and a $50,000 grant from the NSF.

As an I-Corps™ node, the Center for Entrepreneurship hosts 2 national I-Corps™ programs per year that brings in research teams from all over the U.S.  This program is funded by the National Science Foundation in partnership with each of its seven established nodes throughout the country.  Our faculty who have achieved previous NSF funding are eligible to apply to a national program and once accepted receive $50,000 to attend.  Those faculty who have not received an NSF award are encouraged to take one of our other I-Corps™ focused programs to obtain lineage in order to apply for the national program.  These programs include the Introduction to Customer Discovery Course, anIndustry-focused I-Corps™ program or the Early Tech Development program through Fast Forward Medical Innovation.

Information on how to apply for an I-Corps™ program coming soon! For questions contact Divya Patil Hangargekar, dpathiha@umich.edu.

Testimonials

“The intensity of the program and the expertise of the core staff help technologists learn that it takes much more than a good widget to make a great start-up.  The growth of the entrepreneurial teams in just a few short weeks is amazing.  There are few resources like the I-Corps™ program that give these researchers and entrepreneurs the tools they need to successfully start/grow a business.” Patti Glaza, VP & Managing Director, InvestDetroit

“The I-Corps™ program is one of the most exciting and value-adding initiatives from The Center of Entrepreneurship. The CFE has traditionally been very strong in getting research funding via federal grants and carrying out fundamental research. But avenues to translate this research to technology that can be commercialized were limited. The I-Corps™ program has proven to be an important step in helping the CFE become stronger in this area.” Shorya Awtar, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, UofM

“Warren Buffet said that the best investment is education. My sincere wish is that this program gets continuous funding because I-Corps™ is offering the best investment for Michigan and the country.” Riya Cao, CEO, LSPediA