How it worked
In 2018, SBIR Phase 0 helped teams who developed a deep technology innovation to participate in the I-Corps process to test its commercialization potential, and to receive follow-on workshops and support to launch a new business. The desired outcome was to increase SBIR Phase 1 success rates and to increase the number, pace, and success rate of “deep technology” startups formed in Upstate New York and the Northeast.
SBIR Phase 0 teams received funding and support to participate in an intensive, seven-week I-Corps Teams national cohort, where they did a “deep dive” into Customer Discovery and determined if their technology was a “go” for commercialization. This was followed by ten weeks of specialized SBIR Phase 0 workshops that prepared teams to move from a “Go decision” into company formation and pursuing initial capital from the SBIR program and investors.
Each of the selected teams had access to $25,000 to support face-to-face customer engagement, including: travel to national cohort training, registration, and traditional customer discovery activities.