I-Corps

Take your research from the lab to the marketplace

I-Corps is a National Science Foundation (NSF) program designed to help researchers and scientists transition their projects from the lab to the marketplace.

The short course curriculum introduces participants to the Business Model Canvas, a template used by start-up companies to assess whether there’s a product-market fit. In short, does the product fill an unmet need in the market, and is there enough demand for it?

Identifying the needs of potential customers is an essential part of the canvas, said Tony Frontera, one of the course instructors and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Binghamton University’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships.

“The first key steps are finding who your targets are and what they value,” Frontera said.

National Connections

The incubator is now one of 86 I-Corps sites around the nation and one of six in New York. These locations are designed not just to host short-course programs but serve as a one-stop-shop for mentorship, resources and networking opportunities for budding teams.

Those who complete the short course are eligible for up to $3,000 in funding from the grant to the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnership to perform additional customer discovery on their projects or to cover prototyping expenses. And teams that exhibit a relatively polished business model during the short course program are encouraged to apply to be part of the NSF’s national cohort.

I-Corps Program Benefits

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Mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs

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3 weeks of instruction

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Customer discovery training

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Ability to apply for up to $3,000 in customer discovery or prototyping funding

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Access to co-working space

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Potential to complete national I-Corps program