NSF I-CORPS

Entrepreneurship Starts Here

You don’t have to be a seasoned entrepreneur to engage with I-Corps: all it takes is an idea. Beginning a commercial endeavor may seem daunting, but I-Corps gives you the tools to translate ideas into impact, teaching you the skills you need to find—and then reach—the right customers with a technology they truly want. Developed to complement the NSF Great Lakes Regional I-Corps hub, the local I-Corps program here at UW–Madison is up and running to help your team develop the skillset and eligibility for success in the National NSF I-Corps program.

I-CORPS Training Opportunities

NSF I-CORPS HUB GREAT LAKES REGION Logo

NSF Innovation Corps Logo

THE BENEFITS

Research suggests the number one reason startups fail is because they create a product no one wants. I-Corps helps you circumvent this issue. Through this program, you will be able to gain valuable insight into your target market while learning how to augment your technology to meet customer needs, networking with experienced industrial mentors, and developing a strong foundation—while also establishing credibility—for future funding opportunities. Further, completing these programs is the easiest way to gain the know-how needed to compete for the $50,000 I-Corps Team award, which helps cover expenses related to exploring and understanding your market.

THE AVENUES TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP

The National I-Corps Program is designed to help you establish a strong entrepreneurial framework: first, through the initial application and selection process, then, through the Team Award which grants $50,000 over six months. To become eligible, participants either need to have received NSF funding within the last five years or participate in a local or regional I-Corps program. UW’s local I-Corps program is a great place to begin exploring entrepreneurship: the earlier you engage, the stronger your application will be when you’re ready to compete for the national team award.

Want to get involved? To participate in I-Corps:

YOU DON’T NEED: experience in entrepreneurship, established investors, previous NSF funding, third-party verification, or a fully developed prototype.

YOU DO NEED: an idea for a potentially marketable technology, an open mind, a readiness to learn, and, eventually, a team comprised of a technological lead, an entrepreneurial lead, and a mentor (Need help with this? Schedule a meeting with Bonnie!)