Introduction to Customer Discovery

What is Introduction to Customer Discovery?

The Introduction to Customer Discovery course is a taste of the Lean LaunchPad method to give faculty the basic knowledge of how to properly conduct customer discovery interviews; the first step in the commercialization process.  This course covers the two main concepts in I-Corps: value propositions and customer segments.  By defining what these two concepts mean as it relates to a given technology, it provides the framework that any faculty member will need to go on to the National I-Corps program.

Topics covered: History and Methodology of I-Corps™, Customer Discovery Best Practices, Ecosystem Mapping, The Business Model Canvas (focusing specifically on value propositions and customer segments), Next Steps.

These programs are open to U-M faculty and PhD/Postdoc students to attend.

Program Benefits

  • Acquisition of customer discovery best practices, the mapping of an ecosystem and an understanding of the business model canvas.
  • An expanded network of like-minded peers, instructors, investors, customers and mentors.
  • The ability to apply for a $50K NSF grant and enter a National I-Corps™ program upon completion.

Program Expectations

  • Attend all onsite and offsite sessions associated with this program
  • Complete all assignments including the pre-course work
  • Utilize and upload information into Google Sites
  • Conduct a total of 20-30 customer interviews

Upcoming Programs

1) June 2017 ICD Summer Course @ TechArb Student Accelerator:

  • Kickoff: June 8, 2017 – 10AM-1:30PM
  • Midpoint Check-in: June 29, 2017 – 1PM-4PM
  • Finale: July 20, 2017 – 1PM-4PM

         This application is now closed!

2) Smart Cities Connect Conference & Expo Workshop (click here for more information and to apply)

Funding Opportunities

The Customer Discovery Fund is available to U-M College of Engineering faculty, researchers and PhD students who are looking to attend a commercialization training program focused on identifying a specific commercial market where a technology addresses a significant need.  Teams will receive ~$2,000 to put toward travel expenses and customer discovery associated with this program.

For more information contact: Lauren Sheridan, laurensh@umich.edu