Take your great idea from the lab to the marketplace

Why Participate in I-Corps?

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.

I-Corps participants benefit from invaluable insight and opportunities, which include:


Receive funding up to $2,200 that can be used for travel and customer discovery expenses.


Access mentorship, regional venture funding, incubators, and support
via our entrepreneurial network


Dramatically increase your success rate for other commercialization funding opportunities like SBIR, CAI, NSF, and POP Grants


Become eligible to apply to the NSF National I-Corps program ($50,000 grant award)

Leading campus innovators through an immersive learning process to discover their product's place in the market.

At the End of Four Weeks, Teams Will:

Learn key concepts of the lean startup methodology

Interview at least 30 potential customers or end users

Accelerate understanding of the market landscape

Jump start commercialization activities

Improve other commercialization funding prospects

Reach a go or no-go decision for your project

Apply Today

I-Corps is offered three times per calendar year, meeting once a week for four weeks. The classes include regular homework assignments, and participants are expected to dedicate an average of five-to-six hours per week outside of the classroom.

We are now accepting applications for our Spring 2021 session. The I-Corps sessions will be held online. Please sign up for our virtual Zoom orientation here.

Spring 2021 Application Link: Here 

Please make sure you have signed up for the mandatory orientation**.  If you are unable to attend orientation, please e-mail us and we can set up an alternative meeting. 

Schedule for Spring 2021

Date Start End
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 Orientation 4:00 PM 5:00 PM
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 Course 1 4:00 PM 7:00 PM
Wednesday, May 12, 2021 Course 2 4:00 PM 7:00 PM
Wednesday, May 26, 2021 Course 3 4:00 PM 7:00 PM
Wednesday, June 2, 2021 Course 4 4:00 PM 7:00 PM


Orientation (mandatory)

Orientation (mandatory)

April 14 2021 | 4PM – 5PM

Applications Due

Applications Due

April 23, 2021 | Apply Online Using Apply Today Section

Course 1

Course 1

May 5, 2021 | 4PM – 7PM

Course 2

Course 2

May 12, 2021 | 4PM – 7PM

Course 3

Course 3

May 26, 2021 | 4PM – 7PM

Course 4

Course 4

June 2, 2021 | 4PM – 7PM


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 recent 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.


Is the orientation mandatory?
Yes, orientation will cover many important concepts that is 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 for the following cohort.


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