Registration Open for National Science Foundation I-Corps Innovation Course

July 12, 2023, 2 p.m.

logo for NSF I-Corps

Syracuse University will host a free, virtual U.S. National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps) regional course this Fall 2023. The program is for university-based science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) researchers and early-stage startup founders who are interested in exploring the market potential of their work and learning entrepreneurial skills. Participants will learn to apply discovery methodology to help translate technology innovation from the lab into a successful product and/or service through a better understanding of how to achieve product-market fit.

The month-long virtual course will be offered from September 18 – October 18, 2023, through Syracuse University as a partner in the Interior Northeast I-Corps Hub (IN I-Corps), funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), led by Cornell University, with other collaborators including Dartmouth College, Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Buffalo, University of Pittsburgh, University of Rochester, University of Vermont and West Virginia University. The Hub is part of the National Innovation Network, connecting researchers, entrepreneurial communities and federal agencies to help commercialize research.

Register here for the upcoming course hosted by Syracuse University.

Course Overview

This virtual course combines self-directed online learning activities, with six Zoom-based class meetings (1-2 hours long), and one-on-one instructor check ins. The course is technology-agnostic, and any sufficiently developed (i.e., beyond ideation) tech innovation team is welcome to apply. In the first half of the course, teams learn how to identify target customer segments, develop hypotheses about the value proposition offered to each customer segment, and effectively interview potential customers about their problems/needs. In the second half of the course, teams will conduct customer discovery and join personalized calls with instructors to share progress and receive coaching. In the final class, teams present their findings, receive additional coaching, learn about other local entrepreneurship programs, and receive information about applying for the national I-Corps Teams program and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants..

Applicant Information

Successful applicants should have an early-state technology innovation, with either a prototype or some form of scientific validation. Teams of one to three people may apply. All team members are required to attend and participate fully in every course session and complete all coursework to be considered for NSF lineage and a nomination for the national I-Corps Team.

While all applicants are welcome, preference is given to those with university affiliated technology (i.e., faculty working with the Office of Technology Transfer), as well as post-docs, graduate students, and undergraduate students who are commercializing research. Applications are also encouraged from researchers and early-stage founders engaged with other campuses as well as community incubators and accelerator programs.

Application closes Wednesday, August 23, 2023. Apply here.

Course Schedule

The program opens for pre-course work on Monday, September 18, 2023

Session 1: Tuesday, September 26, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Session 2a: Wednesday, September 27, (1:1 meetings)

Session 2b: Friday, September 29, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Session 3: Monday, October 2, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Session 4: Wednesday, October 4, (1:1 meetings)

Session 5a: Wednesday, October 11, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Session 5b: Monday, October 16, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Session 6: Wednesday, October 18, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

*1-1 meetings will be schedule between instructors and teams

NSF I-Corps course programming at Syracuse University is being co-led by Linda Dickerson Hartsock, Strategic Initiatives Advisor, Syracuse University Libraries, who was founding director of the Blackstone LaunchPad, and Jeff Fuchsberg, Director, Syracuse Center for Advanced Systems and Engineering (CASE). Both Hartsock and Fuchsberg led the Syracuse Tech Garden before joining Syracuse University. NSF certified instructors will be teaching the course modules.

More information

Read more about Syracuse University’s participation in the new NSF I-Corps Interior Northeast Region Hub (IN I-Corps) Consortium and its $15 million STEM innovation program. The new initiative aims to create a cohesive innovation ecosystem through inclusive models of education and workforce training designed to catalyze innovation in economically underserved areas.

Partners in Syracuse University’s NSF I-Corps programming are resource providers across campus, including Syracuse University Office of Research, Office of Technology Transfer, Syracuse University Libraries, the College of Law’s Innovation Law Center, the College of Engineering and Computer Science and its Center for Advanced Systems and Engineering, and the Martin J. Whitman School of Management.

For more information about the upcoming NSF I-Corps course:

Linda Dickerson Hartsock,

Jeff Fuchsberg,

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