NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps)

I-Corps team members work through the I-Corps Curriculum together, learning what it takes to successfully transfer knowledge into products and processes that benefit society.
National Science Foundation Innovation Corps Logo

Top researchers from across the US apply to I-Corps Teams, an intensive seven-week innovation and entrepreneurship training course with mentoring and up to $50,000 in NSF funding. Selected teams complete over 100 customer discovery interviews to collect first-hand evidence for or against product-market fit.

I-Corps participant benefits

  • Learn to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research​​
  • Gain entrepreneurship skills through training in customer discovery and guidance from established entrepreneurs​
  • $50,000 NSF grant to do customer discovery research​
  • Stronger application for SBIR/STTR (up to $1.5 million)
Upcoming National Cohort Dates

In I-Corps, researchers learn how to “get out of the building” and talk with customers to identify the best product-market fit.

I-Corps by the numbers

From 2012-2018, I-Corps has had:

63 Cohort Trainings:

1,308 teams

3,985 individuals trained

271 universities, institutes, & colleges represented

47 States, Puerto Rico, & the District of Columbia

Resulting in:

645 startup companies

$335M follow-on funding raised

6 startup acquisitions

I-Corps Team requirements

  • Relevant NSF award (current or expired <5 years)​
  • Full I-Corps™ team in place at initial contact​
  • Ability to make serious time commitment ​
  • Entire team must be available for in-person workshops (kick off and closing) and the weekly online calls
Frequently Asked Questions

Program overview

Kick off

In-person, 3 days

7 weeks: Customer discovery interviews

1x/week: Online check-in & lesson

View Upcoming Dates

Lessons Learned

In-person, 2 days

If you’re interested in applying to be part of the NSF I-Corps program, reach out and we will follow up with you.