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.
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.
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.