NSF I-Corps teaches university entrepreneurs to identify opportunities from academic research and offers entrepreneurship training.

NSF I-Corps at Illinois

Contact Info

Jed Taylor,
Director of Operations, TEC

352 CSL
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

Illinois I-Corps Site Application


Site Leadership

Andrew Singer,, Faculty Director and PI of I-Corps Site

Jed Taylor,, Director of Operations of Site, Site Instructor, and co-PI of I-Corps Site

Laura Bleill,, co-Director of Operations of Site

Harlee Sorkin,, 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.


Past Participants

Cohort Team Name Website
1 Soybean Cyst Egg Counter  
1 Inscites  
1 Accelerated Genomics  
1 Harmonia
1 PhotoniCare
1 Electroninks
2 Veriflow
2 Sewer Flow Restrictor  
2 Solar Cooker
2 Phoenix Fire Suppression  
2 Cellular Diagnostics  
2 MicrosRad Chem  
2 Secure GPS  
2 Lumenos Projection Mappaing
3 ElectroCyt
3 GaitTrack
3 Scanning Probes  
3 Transient Electronics  
3 Fresh Press  
3 Asphalt Binders
3 MoboSens  
3 kcal Adventures  
4 Voyant  
4 Charmworks
4 Smart Meters  
4 3D Modeling  
4 Multi-Axis Load Cells  
4 bitsiv  
5 AirTransport  
5 Hard drive destructor  
5 Quantify Plum Opacity  
5 Sensors for Monitoring Structors
5 OcuCheck
5 Sensors for Agricultor Drones
5 BioAnalytics
6 Runtime Verification
6 Touchless Faucet  
6 IEP-Q  
6 ReSchedule
6 Athos  
7 DataDog Health
7 MLJ Technology  
7 Archimedes Energy Solutions  
7 Aseana Tea sanitizer  
7 Rational CyPhy  
7 Have Touch Synthesizer
8 BioWire  
8 Developing MealPlot Software  
8 Bass Vision  
8 Room Temperature Infrared Detector  
8 Sudden Impact Analytics  
8 eText Ink
8 Neurolux  
9 Dynamic Polyurea Materials  
9 Your New Scope  
9 Emergency Medicine Best Practice 'GPS' system  
9 New Orthodontic Technique (allign)  
9 Nardo Technology  
9 Campus Energy Forecasting & Dispatch Modeling  
10 Gynovate  
10 Veterinary Bytes
10 FashFetch
10 Life Foundry
10 Petronics
11 autologous stem-cell method  
11 Fluoro-Path  
11 H3O  
11 Meco (Meaningful Connections)  
11 Stop Falls - Balance Better  
11 TRIE - Remarc  
12 DIY wastewater treatment plant  
12 Shoutout  
12 Caysh
12 Community Wise - NCCB  
12 MN Squared Inc - plug:en
12 Invoq Health
13 Laboratory for Audience Interactive Technologies  
13 Tyto, Inc.  
13 Shivid  
13 Cast21
13 Inspirit IoT  
13 Chemical Remediation of Nitrate from Water  
13 ExoWear, LLC
13 Ultraviolet, X-ray, and Gamma (UXG) Sensory Engineering  
13 Racial Microaggression Project  
14 Humaselex  
14 Sermo  
14 Vida Alegre: Technological Solutions for Native Spanish Speakers  
14 Kaedago, Inc.
14 HRmony  
14 Lexi Http://
14 Postclosure Landfill Monitoring and Defect Tracking  
14 Smart Crowdfunding Platform for optimal allocation of funding  
Nano EditTek
Nano Nano Tubes  
Ag EarthSense
Ag AmberAg



Technology Entrepreneur Center

Engineering at Illinois

351 Coordinated Science Lab, MC-228
1308 W. Main Street
Urbana, IL 61801

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