of teams, on average, receive SBIR Funding (up to $225k)

Teams trained across 230 universities

startups formed by teams

Million in private funds raised

NSF I-Corps Program


The National Science Foundation I-Corps program is for undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff with research-based concepts looking to progress their research. Through the use of short-courses, the I-Corps program will determine potential customers for your research and explore the business model canvas to understand the viability of launching a startup. Grants of up to $3,000 are available to participants to assist in customer discovery.  

Research can originate from student work, research (funded or unfunded), institutional, or industrial projects. NSF resources combine with Binghamton University’s to provide infrastructure, advice, networking opportunities, training and funding to bring research from the lab to market. 

Upon completion of the I-Corps program, participants are eligible to apply for the NSF I Corps Team National program (an intensive 6-week NSF training with the opportunity to be awarded a $50,000 grant) as well as many other funding opportunities.

Click here to see the UNY I-corps Node’s 2017-2018 Year in review

“The first step is understanding who exactly is your customer and what they value”
-Tony Frontera, Course Instructor


This is a real-world experiential learning program designed to progress research with proven success. All participants are expected to commit 3-5 hours per person per week to engage in customer discovery or market research. 

Teams will be required to attend their cohort’s orientation session, multiple in person training sessions on entrepreneurship, meetings with their mentor, a mid-program check-in conference call as was well as a final presentation session where participants will show how their business ideas have developed over the course of the semester. 

By the end of the program, your team can expect to accomplish some of the following:

  • Go or no-go decision on launching your startup
  • Started research on competing patents and publications
  • Found data on the size of your technology’s market and any key market trends
  • Analyzed several competitive products
  • Interviewed potential customers or end users
  • Completed a standard business model canvas
  • Learned about potential sources of early-stage commercialization funding
  • Decided whether or not to pursue commercialization of your technology or idea
  • Completed much of the research you need to apply for a commercialization-focused grant



There are 86 I-Corps sites around the nation. The Binghamton regional I-corps program is managed by Binghamton University and located downtown in the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator, a high-tech startup space geared towards small business development. 

Learn More


The Binghamton I-Corps site is part of the UNY I-Corps node.

Questions? Contact Olga Petrova


Entrepreneur in Residence Tony Frontera