2017-2021 in Review: Celebrating 5 Years as a Node

This is our fifth year as an I-Corps Node and it has been an exciting and inspiring journey.

5 Years of National Teams Support

75

Teams sent to the National Program

46

Mentors matched with teams

15

Universities represented

Check out what we have learned and accomplished. Click the video above to watch
“5 lessons in 5 years.”

National Faculty

Our team of six instructors has led seven cohorts to date.

Fernando

Fernando Gomez-Baquero

Andrea Ippolito

Andrea Ippolito

Mike Reidlinger

Mike Reidlinger

Ken Rother

Ken Rother

Tom Schryver

Tom Schryver

Deborah Streeter

Deborah Streeter

Regional Courses

We have led 103 regional courses to date for 735 teams with 20 partners across the region.

View Recent Regional Courses

45

Regional course instructors

We completed our first Regional Course for

The National GEM Consortium

UNY I-Corps Regional Economic Impact since 2017:

$27.3M

in capital raised

$6M

in SBIR/STTR funding awarded

$1.8M

in business revenue generated

65

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.

Instructor Training for Improvement and Inclusivity

Our Node has made it a priority to incorporate inclusive teaching methods and recruitment strategies in all of our programming. In 2019, our evaluation team identified an opportunity to improve regional courses by training instructors on culturally-responsive teaching practices and best practices for delivering ‘purposefully direct’ feedback. The inclusivity training module we developed has become the centerpiece of our online, asynchronous “train the trainer” course. We developed the course with funding from an NSF Node Supplement Award and launched it in 2020.

Our Node has made it a priority to incorporate inclusive teaching methods and recruitment strategies in all of our programming. In 2019, our evaluation team identified an opportunity to improve regional courses by training instructors on culturally-responsive teaching practices and best practices for delivering ‘purposefully direct’ feedback. The inclusivity training module we developed has become the centerpiece of our online, asynchronous “train the trainer” course. We developed the course with funding from an NSF Node Supplement Award and launched it in 2020.

This node definitely knows how to create an inclusive culture that embraces Black and Brown entrepreneurs.

-Latane Brackett, Principal Manager, Innovation Programs, National GEM Consortium

CoreMap logo
The UNY I-Corps program, process, and people were tremendously valuable. In our early stages, it helped us to better understand and articulate our market opportunity to potential investors and stakeholders.

– Sarah Kalil, CEO and Co-Founder, CoreMap

Success Story: CoreMap

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia, impacting over 33 million people worldwide every day. Diagnostic mapping options exist, however; they are not yet advanced enough to provide the treatment that chronic AF patients need. CoreMap is creating innovative diagnostic technology that can enable patient-specific curative treatment for AF. CoreMap’s innovative micro-electrode technology overcomes previous obstacles in mapping heart activity, particularly issues with spatial resolution and sample density. CoreMap’s patented innovations will allow physicians to finally “see” AF and develop curative, patient specific treatments. After completing a UNY I-Corps regional course at the University of Vermont in 2019, CoreMap went on to accomplish several milestones in 2020, including securing a $251,143 National Science (NSF) Foundation Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I award and $10.5 million in Series A financing.

Success Story: Exotanium

The pandemic could have ended Exotanium’s ambitions before it even got off the ground—the cloud-optimization startup was in the midst of fundraising when COVID-19 hit. However, as businesses moved their operations online and demand for cloud software systems skyrocketed, the UNY I-Corps and National I-Corps Teams alumni raised $5 million in a Series A funding round in April of 2021. Exotanium’s “X-Spot” technology allows businesses to effectively navigate the spot market to harness low prices when temporary spot servers become available, saving businesses up to 90% on cloud application server fees—a huge advantage for a company in a market estimated to be worth $26 billion by 2024.The startup’s upward trajectory continues with a move
to larger offices at Cornell’s Praxis Center for Venture Development and workforce expansion. It also launched a pilot with Autodesk, Inc.

The purpose of the REGIONAL course is to get scientists who think they know what they’re doing out of their comfort zones to talk to businesses marketing their products on a daily basis. That was our first taste.

– Hakim Weatherspoon, CEO, Exotanium

Mingyu Qiao, CTO; Ted Eveleth, CEO; and Greg Bertsch, Executive Chairman of Halomine.
When you’re an academic, your technology may only have one stated purpose, but if it’s a very good technology, you suddenly find it has a broad application and can address some immediate crisis.

– Mingyu Qiao, CTO, Halomine

Success Story: Halomine

The commercialization of an antimicrobial coating technology that keeps surfaces clean by extending the life of chlorine-based disinfectants—by days and even weeks—is being fast-tracked to combat COVID-19. Halomine, a UNY I-Corps and National I-Corps Teams alumni company and 2019 Grow-NY finalist, is behind the biomaterials innovation.

The technology’s potential to prevent COVID-19 from contaminating private and public spaces has attracted the interest of the NSF. In May 2020, NSF awarded Halomine $256,000 from its COVID-19 Rapid Response Research (RAPID) program to expedite the product’s development, as well as a separate $225,000 RAPID grant to fight hospital-based infections related to COVID-19. In 2021, The company received two Phase II SBIR awards; $600,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and $1 million from the National Science Foundation. “When you’re an academic, your technology may only have one stated purpose, but if it’s a very good technology, you suddenly find it has a broad application and can address some immediate crisis,” said Halomine’s CTO, Mingyu Qiao.

Download the UNY I-Corps Node 2017-2021 in Review

UNY I-Corps Partners

Cornell University
Rochester Institute of Technology logo
University of Rochester logo