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What opportunities are open to those who complete TLA’s NSF I-Corps Site Program?
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1547749. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
NSF Innovation Corps or "I-Corps," is an initiative designed to prepare scientists and engineers to expand their focus beyond the laboratory and increase the impact of basic research. NSF I-Corps aims to jumpstart a national innovation ecosystem by teaching Lean Startup Methodology with a focus on customer discovery and the business model canvas. The University of Arizona is a designated I-Corps Site.
The NSF I-Corps objective of identifying intellectual property with the greatest potential for social and economic impact and then moving it towards commercialization is directly in line with Tech Launch Arizona’s mission.
TLA Leads the UA I-Corps Site
Academic institutions that apply and receive special designation as I-Corps Sites serve as catalysts for engaging teams in commercialization and local innovation. UA/TLA is an I-Corps Site, and I-Corps Site Teams receive grants of up to $3,000 to assist with customer discovery.
With the I-Corps Sites Program, NSF is working to achieve a number of goals:
- Accelerate the commercialization of new technologies, products and processes that arise from the nation’s academic institutions.
- Nurture students and/or faculty who are engaged in projects having potential for transition into the marketplace.
- Develop formal, active, local innovation ecosystems that contribute to a larger, national network of mentors, researchers, entrepreneurs and investors.
- Encourage collaboration between academia and industry.
- Prepare local teams to engage competitively in the NSF I-Corps Teams Program (I-Corps Teams) and in SBIR and other competitions that support entrepreneurship.
- Contribute to a National Innovation Network (NIN) of I-Corps Sites, Nodes, Mentors and alumni-Teams from these entities.
- Build the pipeline for the National Innovation Network by proactively identifying the developing I-Corps Teams that are competitive at a national level.
Considering Applying for NSF I-Corps?
Check out these videos of participants from previous cohorts.