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January 2017 TechArb ICD


The University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE), TechArb and the Midwest I-Corps Node is proud to host the Introduction to Customer Discovery (ICD) program at TechArb in Ann Arbor, Michigan

This four-week program is a taste of the Lean LaunchPad method to give participants the basic knowledge of how to conduct customer discovery interviews; the first step in the commercialization process.  This course also covers the two core concepts in the Business Model Canvas: value propositions and customer segments.

This program is is funded by the NSF Award #1643280: I-Corps Node: Activating the Midwest I-Corps Network and hosted by CFE.


Participant Obligations:

  • Teams must consist of at least two (2) team members, with a maximum of four (4)
  • One person must be designated as the entrepreneurial lead (EL) which will be responsible for giving team presentations and reporting back to the teaching team.
  • All team members must be committed to the process of Customer Discovery
    • Must attend the Kick-off and finale in-person (half-day).
    • Conduct at least 20 customer discovery interviews (this will take 10 to 15 hours a week).
    • Attend weekly 30 minute mandatory office hours with ICD instructors (conducted remotely via web conferencing)
  • The CFE will not cover the costs of lodging, travel or parking. Please make arrangements prior to your arrival to Ann Arbor. There is no tuition for this program.

Application Process:

  1. Apply using the form below.
    1. Note, for university researcher based teams the entrepreneurial lead (EL) is typically the student (UG, MS, PhD), where-as the PI is a faculty member. For all other teams, the EL is person leading the efforts to commercialize the technology.
    2. If you have questions about the application, please email gurhari@umich.edu
  2. Apply before the December 12th 2016 deadline
  3. All teams will be contacted by the CFE to ensure they understand the Participant Obligations.
    1. Teams will be screened to ensure there is a balance of students, faculty and non-university teams.
    2. Teams that do not get in are welcome to apply for a future ICD course within the Midwest I-Corps Node
  4. If selected, teams will be notified on or before December 21st 2016
    1. University of Michigan College of Engineering based technologies will begin the application process for the Customer Discovery Award
  5. Additional emails about the location and timing will be provided in the January 2017 timeframe

Who can Apply:

The program is open to university based researchers, student teams and local companies. Teams from other universities are welcome and encouraged to apply.  The CFE will select teams based on the criteria outlined above and to ensure a diverse mix of technologies and teams.

Tentative Schedule:

  • Pre-webinar – January 5, 2017
  • Kickoff @ TechArb, Ann Arbor – January 13, 2017
  • Office Hours #1 – Week of January 16th, 2017
  • Office Hours #2 – Week of January 23th, 2017
  • Finale @ TechArb, Ann Arbor – February 3, 2017

This application is now closed!  

Applicants will be contacted soon.  If you could not attend this program please be on the lookout for future ICD programs in 2017!