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.
The program is delivered through the I-Corps™ Site of Southeastern Wisconsin, established in 2015 by UWM and the UWM Research Foundation. To date, more than 120 academic entrepreneurial teams have completed the program.
Four-Week Core Program (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. Program participants affiliated with the I-Corps™ Site partnering academic institutions (UWM, MU, MSOE, MCW and CUW) are eligible to receive a mini-grant to support travel, and other customer discovery activities.
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 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.