Do you have an idea that you think has commercial potential? Do you dream of starting a company sometime in the future? If your answers are yes, then the NSF I-Corps program may be right for you.
The National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) is a federally funded program to accelerate academic research projects that are ready to move toward commercialization. As the collaborative innovation hub of the UW, CoMotion® has secured an NSF grant to establish an I-Corps Site on campus which issues approximately 30 awards per year. Grantees learn to identify valuable commercial opportunities that can emerge from academic research, gain skills in entrepreneurship through training, develop a mentor network of seasoned entrepreneurs, and receive $2,500 to fund their customer discovery process. This program is a great preparation for anyone looking to participate in regional business plan competitions, seeking GAP funding, or to apply for the national I-Corps Teams program and continue on to seeking SBIR/STTR funding (national NSF grants).
Over 180+ teams have participated so far. Alumni of the programs have raised over $340 million in investment.
Note – there are no intellectual property obligations tied to this program.
Teams and individuals from research and higher education institutions i.e. faculty, researchers, postdocs, students and staff who have an idea with commercial potential and are ready to test that potential by talking to future customers and stakeholders.
This program welcomes those who just want to learn as well as those seeking to follow the rigorous requirements of I-Corps to receive the money awards and qualify for further NSF funding.
The first and most important goal of the UW I-Corps Program is to teach grantees how to approach commercialization. We are looking 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. Those criteria and our program pace match what we know it takes to take an idea to market impact, and what we know the NSF requires of teams seeking further funding.
Eligible grantees who successfully complete the UW I-Corps Site program will receive sponsorship to apply for the National I-Corps Teams Program.
The National I-Corps Teams Program is a $50K grant coupled with a 7-week program during which attendees are expected to perform at least 100 interviews. Participation in the National I-Corps Teams program increases by at least five folds your chances of receiving SBIR/STTR grants (from around 10% to 50+% granting rate)!
In parallel, teams are also encouraged to seek gap funding and participate in business plan competitions for further training and funding.
Teams wishing to apply for SBIR/STTR grants should consider attending Life Science Washington Institute programming to learn more about the various agencies grants and dive deeper on how to get them.
For more information or if you have any questions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will need to complete a registration form. Make sure to record your responses in a separate document, as you will not be able to save responses in the form. You will receive a copy of your responses via e-mail upon submission of your registration.
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