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Program Description

The Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) program, funded by the National Science Foundation, aims to accelerate academic research projects that are ready to move toward commercialization. Through training and mentorship, program participants learn about the commercialization process and test the value of their business idea by talking to potential customers. Program participants are also able to dive deeper into the specific needs of their industry via our industry-specific bootcamps. Currently, the program offers additional programming for Life Science and CleanTech projects. Those who do well in the program may apply for up to $2,500 of funding to continue testing their business hypotheses via customer discovery. This program is excellent preparation for anyone who wants to participate in business plan competitions, seek gap funding, or apply for further federal funding (I-Corps Teams grant, SBIR/STTR grants, etc.).



I-Corps graduates are better prepared to raise funds

Dempsey Startup Competition

Non I-Corps Participants

I-Corps Participants

Top 30
Pie chart: 36% of part

CoMotion Innovation Gap Fund

Non I-Corps Grads
I-Corps Grads

I-Corps graduates raised:


(over the last five years)

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Who is it for?

  • Faculty, researchers, postdocs, students or staff members from an academic institution in the Pacific Northwest
  • Professionals with industry or startup experience who are looking to mentor the next generation of academic entrepreneurs
Participating states
States participating in I-Corps: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska
Participating states
I-Corps Participant Status: 38% Grad Student, 22% Undergrad students, 13% Researcher/post-doc, 9% Faculty, 7% Other, 6% Staff, 5% Alumni

Participant status

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Deadline: Sunday, December 4 at 11:59pm

For teams and solopreneurs

Participants in this program must be ready to spend several hours per week working on their project over the 6 weeks of the program.

For mentors

Mentors who report the highest satisfaction from the program usually dedicate 2 hours per week over 6 weeks to the program and engage in a variety of activities (training, bootcamps, individual team mentoring, or pitching). Learn more about the mentor experience.

Program dates & deadlines

Keep track of the key dates and deadlines for the current program cycle.

Timeline - five milestones

Milestone 1: Register and complete the first challenge

Teams are expected to complete the first challenge before they can proceed to the main program. The challenge includes completing a short training, and interviewing 3 customers in one week.

Milestone 2: Attend initial training

The program starts with a series of workshops, to help teams learn the skills needed to test their business assumptions.

Milestone 3: Participate in bootcamps

Teams participate in further training and weekly check-ins with industry mentors around specific topics. These bootcamps also provide an opportunity for participants and mentors to network and share tips.

Milestone 4: Pitch your idea

The program ends with teams pitching their idea to a group of mentors and investors followed by a question and feedback session.

Milestone 5: Apply for grant

Teams who fully participate in the program are encouraged to apply for an I-Corps Site grant to help fund further customer discovery efforts.


Past winners

Learn more about recent award-winning projects.

Teaching team

Magali Eaton

I-Corps Program Lead and Instructor

Ken Myer

Lead Instructor

Teddy Johnson Portrait

Teddy Johnson


Terri Butler Portrait

Terri Butler


Mark Billingsley

Mark Billingsley


Our featured mentors

Recent cohort

Michaele Armstrong

Assistant Director, SP3NW

pavan kumar

Pavan Kumar

Founder, 3pm Ventures

rob mathewson

Rob Mathewson

Director of Client Technology Services, CloudFactory

jim schreitmueller

Jim Schreitmueller

Chief revenue driver | Founder | Startup advisor

Mohan Vaghul

Mohan Vaghul

CEO, OneRadio Corporation

More featured mentors

Adam Arabian

Adam Arabian

Principal, Helios Engineering and Analysis

Jim Cooke

Volunteer SCORE.org

Chris Crane

Consultant & Mentor

Colette Foreman

Snr Dir Product Marketing, Limeade

Nicey Hilton

Consultant, Atelier Inc

Ron Kornfeld

CEO, XLIO Ventures

Marty Levine

Principal Consultant, 3rd Rail Consulting

Russ Lea

Deputy Director, Cureworks, Seattle Children’s

Roland Marcus

Founder at FluoroFinder

Todd Smith

CTO, Director, Digital World Biology

Javier Soto

Angel Investor

Matt Vasey

Matt Vasey

AI Partnership and Product Leader, Google Cloud

Shan Wey

Distinguished Member Of Technical Staff at Verizon

Ozgur Yildirim

Head of Science and Technology at Counterfactual Ventures


Phone: 206-543-3970

Email: icorps@uw.edu

For questions about the biomedical track, contact TLButler@uw.edu