Transform your discovery into tomorrow's innovation

The National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) program helps researchers gain valuable insight into what it takes to start a company based on scientific and technological discoveries.

I-Corps empowers researchers (faculty, postdoctoral scholars, graduate and undergraduate students) to evaluate their discoveries for the potential to address societal and business needs.

Participants in the program learn about the entrepreneurial pathway through discussions with mentors, industry scientists and potential customers. 

Since 2011, NSF I-Corps™ programs at universities throughout the nation have provided thousands of academic researchers with training, skills and connections to help researchers explore entrepreneurship, starting a business, and industry requirements and challenges.

The I-Corps training curriculum is based on the Lean LaunchPad approach, developed at Stanford University, which involves talking to potential customers, partners and competitors to discover the challenges inherent in creating successful innovations.

The I-Corps environment is fast-paced and rigorous. Courses are taught by experienced entrepreneurs who challenge participants to explore whether their technologies are suitable for commercialization.

Are you up to the challenge? Visit our Engage page to learn how to apply.


Your path through I-Corps

When you participate in I-Corps, you receive step-by-step support on your path as you develop your technology and learn about your product market. 

Each team has unique backgrounds, goals and innovations. As such, the I-Corps path includes built-in "off-ramps" should you decide to pivot or change direction throughout the course of the program. 

Possible steps on your path include $275,000 and $1,000,000 grants from The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. These highly competitive programs encourage small businesses to explore their technological potential and provide the incentive to profit from its commercialization.

Teams that complete the national I-Corps program are well positioned to apply for SBIR and STTR grants.

Watch this video to learn about the paths you could take through I-Corps, all the way up to obtaining funding from investors. 

Northeast Regional Programs