Open to faculty and students at five area universities, Milwaukee’s I-Corps program links business mentors with academic participants to investigate the prospect of commercializing research ideas.


Bringing Research to the Marketplace

The National Science Foundation (NSF) created the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Program to help accelerate the transfer of academic research into the marketplace. The Program focuses on using “lean launch” methodology to help faculty-based researchers understand markets for their technologies. Since 2015, UWM and the UWM Research Foundation have been bringing this unique program to Milwaukee.

Four-week workshop (five Monday nights, 6-8pm)

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. Participants can also receive a Mini-grant (up to $2,400) that can be used for prototyping materials, travel, and other business expenses.

Customer Discovery

The I-Corps Program uses a discplined, hypothesis-based approach to explore markets through the “customer discovery” process. I-Corps teams bring together academic researchers with industry mentors and challenges them to conduct 40 customer interviews in an intense four-week program.

Regional Partnerships

The Milwaukee I-Corps site 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, IlyaAssociate Professor / Director of InnovationMechanical Engineering / Lubar Entrepreneurship Center(414) 229-6949avdeev@uwm.eduEng & Math Sciences 975

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering 
Director of Innovation,

profile photoPeterson, LorenEntrepreneurial AdvisorEAS-MKE,

Entrepreneurial Advisor, EAS-MKE, LLC

profile photoThompson, BrianPresident / DirectorUWMRF / LEC(414) 906-4653briant@uwmrf.orgCambridge Commons

President, UWMRF


companies formed

customer interviews