We are now accepting applications to the Winter 2019 cohort. Please sign up for the mandatory orientation (LINK) and apply here (LINK).

Evidence-based Entrepreneurship

Take your great idea from the laboratory into the marketplace

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 $2200 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 Applied Innovation’s entrepreneurial network
  • Become eligible to apply to the NSF National I-Corps program ($50,000 grant award)
  • Many more


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.


Program Overview

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 30 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



Program Commitment

  • Attend one orientation session (see Dates and Deadlines)
  • Attend four mandatory classes and complete homework assignments

Project Type

  • Be in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) discipline.
  • Originate from student work, research (funded or unfunded), institutional, or industrial projects

Team Composition

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 icorps@uci.edu.



Winter 2019 cohort application link


Dates and Deadlines

January 16, 2019 | 4PM – 5PM
Orientation* – I-Corps program concepts and help with pre-course assignments (Register here)
@ the Cove (Screening Room)

January 25, 2019
Applications Due

February 1, 2019
Award Announcement

February 13, 2019 | 4PM – 7PM
Course 1
@ the Cove (Screening Room)

February 20, 2019, 2018 | 4PM – 7PM 
Course 2
@ the Cove (Launch Bay)

February 27, 2019 | 4PM – 7PM 
Course 3
@ the Cove (Screening Room)

March 6, 2019 | 4PM – 7PM 
Course 4
@ the Cove (Screening Room)



Is the orientation mandatory?
Yes, orientation will cover many important concepts that is useful for completing your pre-course assignments and homework. Please register for the orientation session here.

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 for the following cohort.



CLICK HERE to download flyer.

Course materials:


Contact Us

We are happy to meet you and answer any other questions you may have. Please email us at icorps@uci.edu.



Doug Crawford

Senior Licensing Officer


Sophia Lin, Ph.D.

Research Translation Specialist