NSF I-CORPS AT ILLINOIS
Director of Operations, TEC
1308 W. Main St.
Urbana, IL 61801
About NSF I-Corps
National Science Foundation's (NSF) Innovation Corps or I-Corps is a public-private partnership program that teaches university faculty and student entrepreneurs with a targeted curriculum to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research, and provides entrepreneurship training to participants.
The Illinois I-Corps Site is a collaboration between the Technology Entrepreneur Center in the College of Engineering, EnterpriseWorks at the Research Park, with participation from the Office of Technology Management, and IllinoisVentures.
I-Corps at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Faculty and students working on STEM-related technology can participate in the I-Corps program and receive up to $2,000 to participate in the customer discovery process of their innovation. The Illinois I-Corps Site offers 4 cohorts a year (2 per semester) on a rolling submission application cycle. Each team is supported with an I-Corps grant of up to $2,000 to cover travel and protoyping costs. The program consists of 4 workshops over 7 weeks, where teams work to validate the market size, value propositions, and customer segements of their innovations.
Upon completion of the program, teams are in position to apply to the National I-Corps program where they receive $50,000 dollars and participate in a rigorous 7 week program, or perphaps apply for an SBIR award.
Students are also encouraged to participate in one of the many technology entrepreneurship courses on campus that offer the I-Corps methodology, including TE 250: From Idea to Enterprise which was developed based on the I-Corps program.
Benefits of Participating in the Illinois I-Corps Program
There are many benfits from participating in the I-Corps program, including:
- Mentoring from local experts
- Validation of Market Size, Value Proposition, Customer Segment
- Engage with campus entrepreneurial ecosystem
- Seed Funding (up to $2k)
- Opportunity to be referred for the $50k NSF National I-Corps program
- NSF I-Corps curriculum based on the Lean Launchpad methodology
- Dramatically improving chance for equity free funding:
- SBIR Phase 1 ($225k)
- SBIR Phase 2 ($750K)
- SBIR Phase 2B ($500K)
How to Apply to the Illinois I-Corps Site
Andrew Singer, firstname.lastname@example.org, Faculty Director and PI of I-Corps Site
Jed Taylor, email@example.com, Director of Operations of Site, Site Instructor, and co-PI of I-Corps Site
Laura Bleill, firstname.lastname@example.org, co-Director of Operations of Site
Harlee Sorkin, email@example.com, Site Instructor
Selected Statistics for Teams Participating in UIUC I-Corps Cohorts 1 - 10
Number of Teams Participating
Colleges from across Campus Represented
Amount of Outside Capital Raised ($)
Departments from across campus Represented
Number of Employees
Number of Teams Starting companies
Number of SBIRs Received
Companies shipping product
Teams participating in cohorts 1 - 10 were surveyed. Cohorts 11-13 recently completed and were not polled. Data is provided from the teams that responded. College and campus data was pulled from applications from all teams that participated.
|1||Soybean Cyst Egg Counter|
|2||Sewer Flow Restrictor|
|2||Phoenix Fire Suppression|
|2||Lumenos Projection Mappaing||http://lumenous3d.com/|
|4||Multi-Axis Load Cells|
|5||Hard drive destructor|
|5||Quantify Plum Opacity|
|5||Sensors for Monitoring Structors||www.embedortech.com|
|5||Sensors for Agricultor Drones||www.ag-sensus.com|
|7||Archimedes Energy Solutions|
|7||Aseana Tea sanitizer|
|7||Have Touch Synthesizer||https://youtu.be/74u6tWNJ1vQ|
|8||Developing MealPlot Software|
|8||Room Temperature Infrared Detector|
|8||Sudden Impact Analytics|
|9||Dynamic Polyurea Materials|
|9||Your New Scope|
|9||Emergency Medicine Best Practice 'GPS' system|
|9||New Orthodontic Technique (allign)|
|9||Campus Energy Forecasting & Dispatch Modeling|