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Virginia Tech I-Corps

VIRGINIA TECH I-CORPS PROGRAM

As Virginia Tech faculty members and graduate students, our community has access to one of the nation’s leading innovation programs. The National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps program can help you ascertain the commercial potential of your team’s innovation or invention while assisting you in developing business skills and broadening your professional network.

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How can the Virginia Tech I-Corps short course help you?

INNOVATE

Explore taking new technology to the marketplace.

LEARN

Get entrepreneurial training, support, and learn how to apply for $50,000

SUCCEED

Increase chances of receiving an SBIR/STTR award

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Program Details

 

The I-Corps program, funded by the National Science Foundation, offers workshops and mentorship to help scientific researchers become entrepreneurs. The program provides funding for teams to validate their customer market so they can confidently choose whether to pursue commercialization and prepare to apply for SBIR funding.

1) Short Course: Regional

At Virginia Tech, our regional course prepares your team to apply to the national program in a unique fashion. Not only do we introduce you to the Business Model Canvas and its application as well as customer discovery, we help you learn how to analyze the data you are gathering from potential customers and uncover its meaning for your startup.p

  • Workshops on business model and customer discovery
  • Taught by successful entrepreneurs using Lean Launchpad methodology
  • 2 half-day sessions to “kick off” and half-day “closing workshop”
  • Weekly 90-minute online coaching sessions
  • Conduct 30 customer discovery interviews
  • Become eligible for national I-Corps Teams

2) I-Corps Teams: National

I-Corps Teams is a nation-wide program composed of academic researchers, student entrepreneurs and business mentors that participate in rigorous curriculum administered through on-site activities and via online instruction.

  • 7-week national cohort for top teams from across the US (Offered 16x per year)
  • $25-50k to do 100+ customer discovery interviews anywhere you need to go
  • Personalized instruction and team mentoring from successful entrepreneurs
  • 3-day in-person “Kickoff” workshop, 6 weeks to conduct interviews; 90-minute weekly report ins; and 2-day “Lessons Learned” workshop
  • Decide whether to pursue commercialization
  • Identify next steps including SBIR application

What is NSF's I-Corps Program?

The National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program is designed to take scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs of every technical background beyond the campus labs and classrooms and toward commercialization. Since I-Corps’ initial launch with NSF, it has been adopted and applied by NIH, NASA, DOD, DHS, and many other government entities as well as many private companies.  

Virginia Tech is a founding member of DC I-Corps Regional Node offering regional short courses that prepare teams to both apply for and participate in the national program. All of the methodologies taught shift thinking and approaches for not only tech translation but research and teaching methods as well.  

The NSF I-Corps program began in 2011 and is focused on risk reduction in relationship to tech transition through the application of customer discovery and business intelligence gathering and mentoring by experienced industry business leaders. Instructors are entrepreneurs in their own right and coach scientists on evidenced-based entrepreneurship and how to develop a repeatable, scalable business model.

Thousands of faculty and students have employed the program - and its $50,000 grant - to create winning business decisions, raise millions of dollars in funding and launch companies or license IP.

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Virginia Tech I-Corps Short Course: Summer 2021

*Deadline for enrollment: July 19th, 2021. Enroll here.

  • Class #1: July 23rd @ 1-4pm ET
    • Introduction to I-Corps
    • Team Introductions
    • Business Model Generation
    • Value Proposition Design
    • Best Practices for Customer Discovery
 
  • Class #2: July 30th @ 1-4pm ET
    • Team presentations on Lessons Learned from Customer Discovery
    • Hypothesis Development
    • Customer Interview Workshops
    • What’s Next Discussion
 
  • Office Hours: August 6th (to be scheduled by teams)
 
  • Closing: August 13th @ 1-3pm ET

Lisa Garcia

I-Corps Principal Lead and Faculty
Virginia Tech

Jack Lesko

Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Virginia Tech

Lindsey Smith

Program Manager, DC I-Corps
Virginia Tech

Mike Abbott

Managing Director and Owner
Cambrian Design and Development LLC and
Industrial Biodynamics LLC

TESTIMONIALS

VIRGINIA TECH ENTREPRENEURIAL RESOURCES

Proof of Concept Program

REGIONAL ENTREPRENEUR RESOURCES

We’re working together to build, utilize, and sustain the national innovation ecosystem

Virginia Tech is a founding member of DC I-Corps Regional Node and now works  in collaboration with University of Maryland- College Park,  George Washington University, and Johns Hopkins University offering regional short courses that prepare teams to both apply for and participate in the national program. All of the methodologies taught shift thinking and approaches for not only tech translation but research and teaching methods as well.

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