NSF I-Corps Teams

What is I-Corps Teams?

Top researchers from across the U.S. apply to the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps Teams, an intensive seven-week innovation and entrepreneurship training course with mentoring and up to $50,000 in funding for customer discovery. Approximately 20 to 25 teams from across the country are assigned to a cohort that is based out of a pre-determined U.S. city. 

Selected teams travel and complete over 100 customer discovery interviews to collect first-hand evidence whether their innovation has a solid product-market fit. The goal is to figure out: Can you build a viable business around your innovation?

Forming Your I-Corps Team

Entrepreneurial Lead (EL)

This is you, the Commercialization Fellow. The EL is the lead interviewer and spokesperson for your team; the person would continue to move the project forward after I-Corps, should the project demonstrate the potential for commercial viability.

Technical Lead (TL)

A researcher with deep technical experience in the core technology. Typically, another post doc or PhD in your lab, sometimes your advisor or another faculty member.

Industry Mentor (IM)

An experienced entrepreneur who helps the team navigate the business ecosystem. The IM  is a third-party resource which will be appointed and matched to you by the UNY I-Corps Node.