We’re working together to build, utilize, and sustain the national innovation ecosystem.

NSF I-Corps gives researchers the opportunity to combine their strong technical and scientific knowledge with an entrepreneurial mindset, with the goal of discovering new technologies that can be developed for market.


The Upstate New York I-Corps Node combines the experience of the nation’s top university R&D region with the entrepreneurial knowledge of experienced mentors and faculty. The Node acts as a hub for commercialization training in the Northeast, connecting skilled researchers to valuable resources through national and regional I-Corps programming.

Connect with mentors

Use the Node’s network of contacts to connect with seasoned entrepreneurs, potential industry partners, and other researchers working on deep technology.

Conduct customer discovery

Learn to identify and reach out to your target market, assess their needs, and pivot your project to best serve customers.

Develop a validated business plan

Confirm your pathway for taking technology to market and demonstrate to potential funders that you’ve put your plan to the test.

2017-2021 UNY I-Corps Regional Economic Impact

in capital raised

in SBIR/STTR funding awarded

in business revenue generated

new hires by startups

Data reflects economic impact of teams who have completed a national I-Corps Teams cohort, a UNY I-Corps regional course, and/or were affiliated with Cornell’s I-Corps Site.

NSF National Innovation Network


I-Corps Teams is the flagship program of  the NSF I-Corps initiative, offered 3 to 4 times per quarter. Top researchers from across the US apply to this intensive seven-week entrepreneurship course with mentoring and a $50,000 grant. Teams conduct 100+ customer discovery interviews to determine is there is sizeable product-market fit.


I-Corps Sites at individual academic institutions provide infrastructure, advice, resources, networking opportunities, training and modest funding to help researchers explore commercialization opportunities and prepare to become I-Corps Team applicants. Node partners Cornell, Rochester, and RIT each have I-Corps Sites.


I-Corps Nodes are designed to support regional needs for innovation education, infrastructure and research. The nine national Nodes work cooperatively to build, utilize and sustain a national innovation ecosystem that further enhances the development of technologies, products and processes that benefit society.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

The National Science Foundation’s I-Corps initiatives empower researchers and aspiring startups to combine their technical and scientific knowledge with an entrepreneurial mindset to develop new technologies that meet a market need and benefit society.

National Science Foundation Innovation Corps Logo