The National Science Foundation is celebrating the first year of its entrepreneurial I-Corps program with a special event today, showcasing some of the technologies that participating teams have developed. By the end of this week, the program will have trained 100 teams of scientists to create businesses from the innovations they created in a university lab.
I-Corps helps researchers connect with experienced entrepreneurs so they can learn about creating business models, obtaining private capital and how to find the right market fit for their products. The NSF expects the program to help create new start-up businesses, Small Business Innovation Research proposals and students with entrepreneurial skills.
Each team consists of three members: a mentor, who has significant business experience; a principal investigator, or tenured professor running a research lab, who has received a recent grant from the NSF; and a graduate or postdoctoral student, working in the principal investigator’s research lab.
Based on Steve Blank‘s Lean LaunchPad curriculum, the Stanford, U.C. Berkeley and Columbia Business School professor said on his website that “the goal of the NSF I-Corps is to teach researchers how to move their technology from an academic lab into the commercial world.”
“It has the potential to change careers, lives and our country,” said Blank, on his website.
Read NSF’s full press release here.