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 prototyping costs. The program consists of 3 workshops over 6 weeks, where teams work to validate the market size, value propositions, and customer segments of their innovations.
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 benefits 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 to 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