Take your great idea from the laboratory into the marketplace with I-Corps @ UCI Applied Innovation
I-Corps is an NSF funded program that trains individuals to broaden the impact of basic-research projects and develop effective solutions to customer problems. We provide the infrastructure, resources, advice, networking opportunities, training, and funding for motivated teams to assess their commercial opportunity.
Our mission is to increase research-based technology commercialization capabilities and activities across Orange County, CA.
Key benefits for participating in I-Corps @ UCI Applied Innovation:
- Receive funding up to $3000 that can be used for travel, customer discovery expenses, and some prototype development
- Dramatically increase your success rate for other commercialization funding opportunities such as SBIR, CIA, PFI, POP grant funding
- Access mentorship, regional venture funding, incubators, and support via UCI’s Applied Innovation entrepreneurial network
- Become eligible to apply to the NSF National I-Corps program ($50,000 grant award)
- Many more
Learn how to commercialize your science:
I-Corps™ is a National Science Foundation (NSF) initiative to increase the economic impact of research. The program is available to both the academic and non-academic communities and provides entrepreneurial training to create and validate business propositions.
I-Corps @ UCI Applied Innovation takes place three times per calendar year. Each training cohort runs for four weeks, and classes meet once a week, with weekly homework assignments. During the program, participants are expected to dedicate an average of 5-6 hours per week outside of the classroom.
The I-Corps curriculum is based on real-world, hands-on, immersive learning that involves finding customers and understanding their problems in order to achieve a product/market fit. Participants are expected to engage with other teams and share with the class what they learn each week—constructive feedback to other classmates is expected.
By the end of the four-week training program, teams will:
- Learn key concepts of the lean startup methodology
- Accelerate understanding of the market landscape
- Interview at least 40 potential customers or end users
- Complete one-third of the business model canvas
- Jump start commercialization activities
- Reach a go or no-go decision for your project
- Increase other commercialization funding prospects
- Attend one orientation session (see dates and deadlines) – RSVP here
- Attend four mandatory classes and complete homework assignments
- Be in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) discipline.
- Originate from student work, research (funded or unfunded), institutional, or industrial projects
- All UCI graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty, and recently alumni are eligible to apply. It is required that participants apply to this program as a team of at least two people. We do not recommend that teams apply with more than four participants.
- Teams are typically comprised of:
Entrepreneurial Lead (EL): a postdoctoral scholar or graduate student with relevant knowledge of the technology and a deep commitment to investigate the commercial landscape surrounding the innovation.
Academic Lead (AL): an employee of UCI with an academic appointment with a strong passion to see his/her invention commercialized. The PI is responsible for overall grant management and assisting the entrepreneurial lead with program assignments.
**If you are unable to identify an Academic Lead, another student/postdoc or technological expert can be replaced as the “scientific leader”.
Mentor (M): an individual with previous entrepreneurial or business experience who serves as the principal guide and tracks the team’s progress.
**If you are unable to identify a Mentor before coming into the program, we will help you identify one.
For exceptions to the team composition, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply for this program, please complete a short application:
Dates and Deadlines
September 14th, 2017 – Orientation 1, 4 PM in the Screening room @ the Cove – Learn more about the program and get help with the pre-course assignments
September 20th, 2017 – Orientation 2, 4 PM in the Launch Bay @ the Cove – – Learn more about the program and get help with the pre-course assignments
September 22nd, 2017 – Applications due
October 9th, 2017 – Acceptance announcement
October 24th, 2017 – Cohort 1, course 1, 2-3 h, [time location]
October 31st, 2017 – Cohort 1, course 2, 2-3 h, [time location]
November 7th, 2017 – Cohort 1, course 2, 2-3 h, [time location]
November 14th, 2017 – Cohort 1, course 2, 2-3 h, [time location]
*Not required, but preference will be given to teams who attend
Is the orientation mandatory?
Orientation is not mandatory, but highly encouraged as we will cover many important concepts in the orientation that will be useful for completing your pre-course assignments and homework.
What if I don’t have a mentor?
You are still eligible to apply if you are unable to find an industry mentor! We will do our best to match you with an appropriate mentor.
I don’t have previous business experience, can I still apply?
Participants are not required to have previous experience in business or entrepreneurship to be accepted, just enthusiasm to learn!
How many teams are selected for each round?
10 teams per session. If you were not accepted for this session, we encourage you to reapply.
- An Overview of the Business Model Canvas in 2 minutes
- A Library of How to Approach Customer Discovery
- Program overview [PDF]
- Reimbursement procedures – What can I spend money on? How do I get my money? [PDF for reimbursement procedures]
- Business canvas model form [PDF]
We are happy to meet you and answer any other questions you may have. Please find us at email@example.com