National Innovation Corps Programs

National Innovation Corps Programs

The NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program is a national program that gives STEM-focused individuals the chance to expand their research beyond the lab, by teaching them to apply entrepreneurial techniques and transform their projects into marketable products.


The Upstate New York (UNY) Nodes conducts Short Courses throughout the year; other Nodes offering different Courses. Node programs are also a great introduction to the I-Corps curriculum and help participants get on track for the National NSF I-Corps Teams program. Out of our program participants and other teams we work with throughout the year, UNY I-Corps will recommend 20-30 participant teams to go on to Nationals.


Applicants selected for the National NSF I-Corps Teams program will receive additional support to accelerate innovation, including $50,000 in NSF funding, mentoring, and other third-party investment opportunities. While the list below may seem overwhelming, remember that your Node and Site teams are here to help; reach out to us for assistance and support at any time.


Be sure to read the information available on the NSF I-Corps website:

Detailed Application/Solicitation Instructions

NSF Program Contact Information and Deadlines

NSF Program Factsheet


There are informational webinars on the first Tuesday of every month. If your team is interested in learning more, a webinar is a great way to get answers to your questions about the National NSF I-Corps Teams program. Details will be posted on the I-Corps website as webinars become listed.


National Teams Requirements

  1. Written authorization/invitation for proposal from an I-Corps Program Officer (see below)
  2. An I-Corps Team must identify 3 team members who can commit for the duration of the National NSF I-Corps Teams program. UNY I-Corps can assist you in forming this team, particularly in matchmaking with Principal Investigators / Academic Advisors. Teams include:
  • Entrepreneurial Lead
  • I-Corps Teams Mentor
  • Principal Investigator/Academic Advisor


  1. A Full NSF RAPID Proposal, submitted either via the NSF FastLane system, or
  • Cover Sheet
  • Project Summary
  • Table of Contents
  • Project Description (limited to 5 pages)
    • I-Corps Team (up to 2 pages)
    • Lineage of the Proposed Innovation (up to 1 page)
    • Description of the Potential Commercial Impact (up to 1 page)
    • Brief description of the project plan (up to 1 page)
  • References Cited
  • Biographical Sketches
  • Proposal Budget
    • See FastLane and specific form requirements
    • Total amount of request must not exceed $50,000.
    • Within the $50,000 requested –  set aside travel funds and $1500 registration fee per person, for up to 3 persons (Entrepreneurial Lead, Mentor, PI) to attend the MANDATORY:
    • 3-day entrepreneurial immersion workshop, and
    • (5 weeks later) 2-day presentation workshop
  • Current and Pending Support
  • Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources


  1. It is highly recommended that you contact the relevant I-Corps Program Officer to discuss funding feasibility:


Be prepared to approach the Officer with the following information:

  • Composition of the team proposing to undertake the commercialization feasibility research (Entrepreneurial Lead, I-Corps Teams Mentor and PI). If a Commercialization Mentor is needed, the NSF Program Director may assist in identifying one from the I-Corps network which is being put together at this time.
  • Relevant current/previous NSF awards (including award number, the program that funded the project, and NSF program manager for the project, if available).
  • Brief description of the potential commercial impact.
  • Brief description of the current commercialization plan