Annual report 2023


In its second year, the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Innovation-Corps (I-Corps) Northeast Hub helped 819 researchers learn how to transform scientific discoveries and innovations into real-world products and services. The I-Corps Northeast Hub trains individuals from across its member universities as well as numerous other researchers from regional institutions and the wider community. Read more about the Northeast Hub's 2023 impact.

Scroll down to learn more.

Building skills and opportunities

Training an entrepreneurial work force


Individuals trained in regional programs


Teams trained in regional programs


Mentors and instructors engaged


Teams accepted to national I-Corps

Lori Dars

"One of the greatest strengths at our Hub is our skilled and passionate teaching team. They are serial entrepreneurs and subject matter experts in a wide variety of industries. Our instructors and mentors create a sense of belonging as they represent the diversity of the region we live in. They are truly dedicated to helping innovators succeed."


Lori Dars

Regional Instructor Trainer and Diversity and Inclusion Lead, I-Corps NE Hub

Associate Director of Economic Development and Innovation, Rutgers University


Building an innovation ecosystem

We partnered with entrepreneurship groups and industry experts throughout the region to share knowledge and build connections.


Innovating Together attendees.

Online sessions with entrepreneurship organizations throughout the region.


Entrepreneurship Essentials attendees.

Virtual workshops highlighting important topics surrounding early stage ventures.


Quarterly Assembly attendees.

Virtual event to build community and connect I-Corps alumni with follow-on opportunities and mentors.

Find upcoming events

Find an upcoming opportunity that's right for you.


Broadening participation

Commitment to inclusive innovation

Julius Korley

“We're always going to make sure that everyone is represented, that we are inclusive, and that DEIA is impactful in our hub. And we're not just talking about it, we're illustrating it in everything that we do.”


Julius Korley

Co-Director and Co-Principal Investigator, I-Corps NE Hub

Vice President of the Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships, University of Delaware



of the teaching team (mentors and instructors) was made up of women


of teams trained had at least one woman


regional teams came from state-recognized minority-serving institutions (MSIs)

NSF I-Corps Fellowship

The I-Corps Fellowship Program creates pathways for students, especially those from underrepresented groups, to participate in innovation and entrepreneurship activities at the I-Corps Northeast Hub. This program is open to all eligible participants, regardless of identity.

Leonard Robinson

“Completing the program kickstarted my career in entrepreneurship. The mentorship and inclusive environment helped me establish a robust network and created lasting connections with individuals dedicated to innovative technologies and committed to solving real-world problems with lasting solutions.”

Leonard Robinson

I-Corps Fellow, Co-Entrepreneurial Lead

Graduate student, Yale University


Michael Craige

"The support, mentorship, and knowledge gained greatly accelerated the innovation journey and equipped founders with the know-how to navigate the path of bringing their research from the lab to the market."

Michael W. Craige

I-Corps Fellow, Entrepreneurial Lead, Mentor

Postdoctoral Researcher and Computing Innovation Fellow, Rutgers University


Accelerating impact

Outcomes and impact

$1.3 million

Awarded through national I-Corps program


Patents granted or licensed to I-Corps alumni


Startups formed by I-Corps teams

StegAI founders Kristin Dana and Eric Wengrowski. Photo courtesy of researchers

StegAI prevents misuse of digital content


A technology from Rutgers University I-Corps team StegAI places watermarks into online content so users can more easily protect and authenticate content. The AI-driven technology aims to prevent misuse of digital content by placing attributions so that photos, videos and other content can be traced back to the original source. The team licensed their technology with Rutgers University last year, and appointed Joseph DeGol, former Microsoft principal researcher, as their chief technology officer.


ToxiSense competes in final round of National Inventors Hall of Fame competition


A team of undergraduate researchers developed ToxiSense, a cost-effective and sustainable way to test drinking water and medicines for harmful endotoxins as well as to screen patients for bloodborne bacterial infections. Their technology speeds up the diagnosis of infections and replaces an expensive and environmentally harmful testing protocol that uses horseshoe crabs, which are critical to their native ecosystems. The researchers genetically engineered a plant to luminesce when placed in contact with the endotoxin. After winning numerous funding awards at pitch competitions, the team competed as finalists in the National Inventors Hall of Fame Collegiate Inventors Competition last year.

Four male students standing together, smiling

ToxiSense founders and University of Pennyslvania students Udit Garg, Andrew Diep-Tran, Aravind Krishnan and Aarush Sahni. Photo courtesy of researchers


Two researchers looking at a computer monitor, pointing to the screen

PureLi co-founders Jason Ren and Sean Zheng. Photo by Bumper DeJesus

PureLi aims to reduce emissions and secure lithium supply for use in electronics


Princeton researchers developed a sustainable way to extract lithium, a mineral in high demand due to its use in batteries for electric vehicles and other electronics, from brine water. The researchers participated in I-Corps in 2022 and launched their startup PureLi, through which they aim to contribute to securing the nation’s supply of critical minerals and advancing toward net zero emissions.

Current methods of extracting lithium are expensive and require vast amounts of land and time. PureLi is addressing these challenges with a cost-effective and sustainable system that uses fiber twisted strings that collect brine and cause the water to evaporate, leaving behind only the crystallized minerals, including lithium. The team has successfully completed its seed funding round and is assembling a dynamic team in the HAX incubator located in Newark, NJ.


Annual meeting

The first Northeast I-Corps Hub annual meeting brought together researchers, seasoned entrepreneurs and innovation enthusiasts to participate in workshops and panels, hear from experts about important topics in entrepreneurship, engage in poster sessions, build connections to grow their networks, and support the Northeast regional innovation ecosystem.

Crowded hallway lined with posters, people engaging in conversation and presenting their work.
Person presenting a poster at the meeting

Kirsten Hund Blair, co-founder and CEO of Lambent Data and an I-Corps alumna, presented her company's healthcare patient engagement software. Photo by Sameer A. Khan