National Science Foundation I-Corps

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? 

This highly interactive course begins with a Kickoff Workshop where participants will learn how to:

  • Identify their top customer segments

  • Form hypotheses about their potential customers and their value propositions

  • Find and effectively interview customers to test their hypotheses

During the weeks that follow the kickoff, teams will speak with at least 20 potential customers. Teams will also have two mandatory office hour consultations with instructors to check-in, share progress and receive coaching.

The program concludes with a Lessons Learned Workshop where teams will present what they have learned, receive additional coaching and learn about their options for moving forward with their ideas.

After the completion of the course, teams will be eligible to apply to the National I-Corps Teams Program and up to $50,000 to support their participation, including expenses related to conducting further customer discovery.


Summer 2023 Cohort

This is a free, four-week course where you and your team will quickly investigate if there’s a market for your technology and understand who would use it and why.

You will receive an introduction to the fundamental I-Corps principles, learn how to identify potential customers and then “get out of the building” to determine if you are solving a significant real-world problem.


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.  

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.


11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2023: In-person Kickoff Meeting at the ETEC building on UAlbany's Uptown Campus

Dates/times set by instructors and teams: The first round of office hour sessions (one-on-one meetings) will be held before the Mid-Session Check-in.

1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, June 15, 2023: In-person Mid-session Check-in at the ETEC building on UAlbany's Uptown Campus

Dates/times set by instructors and teams: The second round of office hour sessions (one-on-one meetings) will be held after the Mid-Session Check-in.

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 28, 2023: In-person Lessons Learned Workshops (final presentations) at the ETEC building on UAlbany's Uptown Campus


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 about 20 to 40 total hours of effort over a four-week period.

The application for the Summer 2023 cohort closes at 4 p.m. Friday, May 26, 2023.

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