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.
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.
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.