National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps) logo

 

What is NSF I-Corps? 

The National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps) program uses experiential education to help researchers gain valuable insight into entrepreneurship, including how to start a business and face current industry challenges.

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.

UAlbany’s NSF I-Corps program can help you:

  • Explore the market need for your research
  • Define the broader impacts of your work
  • Strengthen your next grant application’s commercialization plan

The University at Albany is proud to be a part of the New York Region I-Corps Hub.

 

Who can participate in I-Corps? 

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

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

 

Three smiling people sit around a table in front of laptops.

 

How does I-Corps work? 

This highly interactive course begins with two kickoff sessions where participants learn how to:

  • Identify their top customer segments and the benefits they value
  • Form testable hypotheses about their potential customers and their value propositions
  • Find and effectively interview customers to make data driven decisions about their venture

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

The program concludes with a lessons learned report-out where teams present what they have learned, receive additional coaching and learn about their options for moving forward with their ideas.

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

 

A woman writes on a whiteboard at the front of a classroom.

 

Join Our Next Cohort

This is a free, 3.5-week course held at various times throughout the year.
 

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Eligibility

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 non-dilutive funding program for small business technology development, including the Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs.

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

Information Sessions

Information sessions are offered on the first Tuesday of every month and are held at noon on Zoom.

Registration is required. Register to attend an information session.

Application

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.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Apply now!

Fall 2024 Schedule

The Fall 2024 schedule has not yet been announced. Details will be posted here when available.

Sign up to be notified when new cohort dates are announced.

Questions? Please contact Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program Director Kelly Reardon-Sleicher at [email protected].