Open to faculty and graduate students at five area universities, Milwaukee’s I-Corps program links business mentors with academic participants to investigate the prospect of commercializing a research idea.
UWM administers this regional program that is funded by the National Science Foundation. Accepted teams learn the art of customer discovery and link them to sources of early-stage funding. The teams then make a decision about whether to proceed to market within six months of completing the program.
Deadline to apply: Rolling applications for summer/fall cohorts
National resources for faculty
National I-Corps Program
NSF’s National I-Corps consists of programming that prepares scientists and engineers to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research, and offers entrepreneurship training to graduate student participants.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are competitive awards that encourage small businesses to become involved in federally funded research.
“Through I-Corps you conduct many interviews with potential clients. You try to figure out what the problem is in a quantifiable and objective fashion. Having done that, you are better prepared to build a product.” -Dave Clark
English professor Dave Clark, who works as a writing consultant for a dozen Wisconsin companies, is developing customizable software to guide workers who are not professional writers through the writing process so they can competently produce documents like proposals and reports. With help from the UWM-led Milwaukee I-Corps program, he founded Responsive Writing Solutions LLC. Now he has a $50,000 grant through the national I-Corps program.