Milestone 5: Apply for Grant

Deadline: August 29, 2021 at 11:59pm

How to apply for a grant

Only program participants may apply for the grant. More information about how to apply for the grant will be provided during the I-Corps program.

Who will receive the grant

General grant attribution criteria

The Granting Committee looks for teams who are enthusiastic about technology commercialization and have clear goals. Mini-grants are awarded based on progress made during the program and demonstrated commitment to taking the project to market impact.

Grant attribution metrics

  • Number of interviews
  • Number of insights
  • Canvas hypothesis validation/invalidation rate
  • Plausibility of grant proposal to advance team’s customer discovery objectives
  • Allowability of expenses. Make sure you read all the documentation before you write your grant proposal and propose projects that are not allowed!
  • Team mentors progress evaluation
  • Team’s active involvement in cohort and respect for deadlines

Past grantees

What the grant covers

The I-Corps $2,500 grant is specifically designed for teams pursuing customer discovery activities. Below are a number of common questions our teams usually ask that will help you understand what the grant may or may not cover.


Can the I-Corps Site grant be used to pay legal expenses for company incorporation or IP protection?

These types of expenses are not allowed under the I-Corps grant. Neither are other consultant fees or salary expenses.

Can my mentor, student interns, or my PI receive a stipend on the I-CorpsSite grant?

No. Stipend, salaries and consultancy fees are not allowed under the I-Corps grant.

Can I purchase gift cards to incentivize customers to interact?

The short answer is no. The use of gift cards triggers the necessity for a process of approval of your customer discovery by the IRB (Institutional Review Board), which is a long and cumbersome process that is not worth going through for those grants. Exceptions may be made upon discussion with the I-Corps team for projects that already have received an IRB approval or exemption.

Can the I-Corps Site grant be used to attend academic conferences?

Attendance of an academic conference using I-Corps grant funds is allowed only with written approval from I-Corps Site leadership. Such approval is typically not granted unless you can explain how an academic conference would facilitate customer discovery of commercial market opportunities.

Can the I-Corps Site grant be used to attend industry tradeshows?

Yes. Tradeshows can be a great way to interact with a large number of potential customers. I-Corps grant funds can be used to support the team’s travel to industry tradeshows in the United States.

What else can I use I-Corps funds for in Covid times?

  • Membership to professional organizations customers attend,
  • Leveraging social media to connect with possible customers and stakeholders (e.g. LinkedIn professional membership)
  • Surveying customers to understand needs and wants (survey tools)
  • A/B testing a website (website development; for advanced teams only)
  • 1:1 interviews of targeted industry contacts (Industry conference fees), ∙ Create rudimentary website to gauge interest by letting people sign up to learn more (website ∙ development)
  • Access research reports (check with libraries first because most university-affiliated teams ∙ should have access to those for free)
  • Create website brochure to facilitate conversations with potential customers (website ∙ development)
  • Conferencing service subscription if institution does not provide conferencing services.

Return to program overview