What is I-Corps? 

The National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) makes entrepreneurial training and mentoring available to academic researchers and entrepreneurs. The University at Albany is part of the New York Region I-Corps Hub.

The program helps researchers of diverse backgrounds bring their scientific and engineering discoveries to the marketplace as commercial ventures that spur economic growth and narrow long-standing racial and gender disparities in the STEM workforce. 


Who can participate in I-Corps? 

I-Corps offers training and guidance to students, researchers, faculty and entrepreneurs who are looking to progress existing scientific or engineering research into a business venture.  

Startup ideas can originate from student work, funded or unfunded research, or institutional or industrial projects. 


How does I-Corps work? 

An I-Corps team includes a technical lead and an entrepreneurial lead (usually students, researchers and/or faculty members) and a mentor (an established or emerging industry professional). 

During a series of short courses, I-Corps teams determine potential customers, explore business models and consider the viability of their startup. 

Upon completion of the New York Region I-Corps program, participants are eligible to apply for the national I-Corps program — an intensive six-week training, with the opportunity to be awarded a $50,000 grant — as well as other funding opportunities. 


Fall 2022 Program

Ready to determine whether your innovation will solve a significant real-world problem?

During this free, three-week program, you and your team will investigate if there’s a market for your technology and learn how to identify new customers and uses. 

The Fall 2022 program will run from October 12 to November 2. 


Individuals and teams must be working on a project based on new, innovative and differentiating technology that could be a candidate for a future proposal to the federal Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program.  

In the SBIR program, the applicant company can engage a university for up to one-third of the budgeted phase I research and analytical effort.   

Individuals and teams must also be either current faculty, postdocs, students and staff at any university or other individuals working on serious STEM-related technology.

  • Ken Kramer, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute MBA alum, entrepreneur and I-Corps trained instructor 

  • Kate Cartini, entrepreneur, investor and I-Corps trained instructor 

  • Rick Neff, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute MBA alum, startup advisor and entrepreneur-in-residence at UAlbany


Kick-off Workshop 

The Kick-off Workshop will be held in person at UAlbany from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday October 12, 2022. During the workshop, participants will learn how to: 

  • Identify top customer segments 

  • Form hypotheses about potential customers and their value propositions 

  • Find and effectively interview customers to test their hypotheses 

In the three weeks that follow the workshop, you will meet with at least 12 potential customers — qualifying your team to apply for the National I-Corps Teams Program. 

Office Hours 

Teams will meet individually with instructors three times after the Kick-off Workshop to check in, share progress and receive coaching. 

Final Presentations 

At the conclusion of the program, teams will give final presentations in person at UAlbany from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 2, 2022.  

Your presentations will focus on lessons learned during the program, and you’ll receive additional coaching on customer discovery and how to keep moving forward with their ideas. 


By enrolling in the program, you agree to fulfill attendance requirements for all workshops and office hour sessions and to complete all assignments. The course will require approximately 20 total hours of effort over a three-week period. 

To apply, please complete the Fall 2022 application.

Questions? Contact the Interim Director of Community & Economic Development, Maria Pidgeon, at [email protected].