Open to faculty and students at five area universities, Milwaukee I-Corps™ Program links new venture and business mentors with academics to investigate the pathways for commercializing research ideas.


Bringing Research to the Marketplace

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) program uses experiential education to help researchers gain valuable insight into entrepreneurship, starting a business or industry requirements and challenges.

I-Corps™ enables the transformation of invention to impact. The curriculum integrates scientific inquiry and industrial discovery in an inclusive, data-driven culture driven by rigor, relevance, and evidence. Through I-Corps™ training, researchers can reduce the time to translate a promising idea from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Local I-Corps™ Program

Participants are coached on designing and validating a business model around their idea throughout a four-week workshop. The last session invites teams to present on lessons learned as well as a closing reception. Program participants may be eligible to apply for a $50,000 NSF I-Corps™ grant to support travel, and other customer discovery activities.

Additionally, multiple grants are available after the successful completion of a Milwaukee I-Corps program for teams, mentors, and consultants.

Customer Discovery

The I-Corps™ Program uses a disciplined, hypothesis-based methodology (Lean Launch) to explore markets through the “customer discovery” process. I-Corps™ teams consisting of academics and business mentors are challenged to conduct at least 20-40 customer interviews in an four-week program.

NSF Great Lakes I-Corps™ Hub

The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, home of the Milwaukee I-Corps™ Program, is the affiliate of the Great Lakes I-Corps™ Hub. The NSF I-Corps™ Hub: Great Lakes Region engages academic scientists and engineers in innovation by providing world class educational programs designed to train researchers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and accelerate the transfer of cutting-edge research into commercial success.

Regional Partnerships

The Milwaukee I-Corps™ Program supports not only UWM, but other academic institutions in Milwaukee as well – including the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University, the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and Concordia University.

Milwaukee I-Corps™ Team

profile photoAvdeev, IlyaLEC Director of Innovation and Kellner Entrepreneurship Fellow, Director, NSF I-Corps™ Site of Southeastern Wisconsin (Milwaukee I-Corps™), Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Department: Mechanical Engineering / Lubar Entrepreneurship CenterMechanical Engineering / Lubar Entrepreneurship Center(414) 510-3631avdeev@uwm.eduEng & Math Sciences 1181

Director of Innovation - Lubar Entrepreneurship Center
Associate Professor - Mechanical Engineering
Director (PI) - Milwaukee I-Corps™ Program
Kellner Entrepreneurship Fellow

profile photoPeterson, LorenEntrepreneur-in-Residence, Milwaukee I-Corps™ Core Teamlgp@eas-mke.comUWM Lubar Entrepreneurship Center

Entrepreneur-in-Residence, UWM Lubar Entrepreneurship Center
Core Team, Milwaukee I-Corps™ Program

profile photoThompson, BrianPresident / DirectorUWMRF / LECbriant@uwmrf.orgUWM Lubar Entrepreneurship Center 210

President, UWMRF
UWM Lubar Entrepreneurship Center
Core Team, Milwaukee I-Corps™ Program


companies formed

customer interviews