About I-Corps: The National Science Foundation (NSF) created the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) Program in 2011 to develop and nurture a national innovation ecosystem that builds upon fundamental research to guide the output of scientific discoveries closer to the development of technologies, products, and processes that benefit society.” NSF’s I-Corps training is designed to lower the market risk inherent in bringing a product or innovation to the market, thereby improving the chances for a viable business. Since NSF started the I-Corps Program in 2011, several other Federal agencies have funded I-Corps cohorts including NIH, DHS, USDA, DOD, and DOE.   I-Corps Impact:  Read this report

The agencies below offer the I-Corps curriculum and funding to SBIR/STTR Phase I award recipients.   

  • The National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps program uses experiential education to help researchers gain valuable insight into entrepreneurship, starting a business or industry requirements and challenges.  I-Corps enables the transformation of the invention to impact.  I-Corps enables the transformation of the invention to impact. The curriculum integrates scientific inquiry and industrial discovery in an inclusive, data-driven culture driven by rigor, relevance, and evidence. Through I-Corps training, researchers can reduce the time to translate a promising idea from the laboratory to the marketplace. NSF is developing and nurturing a national innovation network to guide scientific research toward the development of solutions to benefit society.  The NSF SBIR “Beat-the-Odds Boot Camp” provides Phase I awardees with entrepreneurial training designed for early-stage companies that draw on the methods and customer discovery curriculum used in the NSF I-Corps™ Program.  Click here to learn more.
  • The National Institutes of Health Innovation Corps program provides funding, mentoring, and networking opportunities to help commercialize your promising biomedical technology. During this 8-week, hands-on program, you’ll learn how to focus your business plan and get the tools to bring your treatment to the patients who need it most.   Program benefits include:  1) Funding up to $55,000 to cover direct program costs; 2) Training from biotech sector experts; 3) Expanding your professional network; 4) Building the confidence and skills to create a comprehensive business model, and 4) Gaining years of entrepreneurial skills in only weeks.  Click on the link for the full I-Corps announcement: Funding Opportunity Announcement 
  • The NASA Innovation Corps program overlaps by encouraging the innovation and entrepreneurship of small businesses and enabling those businesses to commercialize their innovations. NASA’s SBIR/STTR program releases solicitations for research and development that are of interest to NASA’s Mission Directorates with the goal that the selected technologies will become a success by being transitioned, or infused, into a NASA program, or by commercial success outside of NASA and the Federal Government.  With this goal in mind, NASA, through the SBIR/STTR Program, worked with NSF to implement a pilot I-Corps program in 2017 as part of the NASA SBIR/STTR Solicitation. The NASA I-Corps program enables small businesses, including start-up firms, to increase the odds of accelerating the process of developing their SBIR/STTR technologies into a repeatable and scalable business model.  Click here to learn more.
  • Department of Energy Innovation Corps programs has worked with the Office of Technology Transitions to pilot a new version of the Energy I-Corps training aimed specifically at the Department of Energy SBIR/STTR Phase I awardees.  FY 2020 Phase I Release 2 are the first awardees that will be eligible to apply.  The pilot program will continue through FY 2021 when it will be evaluated to determine whether it will become a permanent offering.  Selected applicants will receive an intense 2-month entrepreneurial training from experienced instructors at no cost to participants.  Click here to learn more
  • Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture Innovations in Food and Agricultural Science and Technology (I-FAST) program is in partnership with NSF I-Corps to provide entrepreneurship training to USDA NIFA grantees under this I-FAST program.  The goal is to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from NIFA supported academic research. Selected USDA NIFA I-FAST project teams will have the opportunity to concurrently participate in the educational programs with NSF I-Corps awardees. Over a period of six months, the USDA NIFA supported teams in the I-FAST program will learn what it will take to achieve an economic impact with their particular innovation. The final goal of the I-FAST Competition is to facilitate technology transfer of innovations that can make an impact in the marketplace and the global economy.  Click here to learn more.  
  • Department of Defense (DoD): I-Corps@DoD. The goals of I-Corps@DoD are to spur the translation of fundamental research with potential defense relevance to the marketplace, to encourage collaboration between academia and industry, and to train students, faculty, and other researchers to understand innovation and entrepreneurship.  The link to the expired solicitation for the Innovation Corps @ Department of Defense Program (I-Corps @ DoD Program) Fiscal Year 2020 is: https://bit.ly/2UabB1V
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate SBIR program offers select SBIR companies an opportunity to participate in NSF I-Corps. The participant companies evaluate the market opportunity of their DHS-funded innovations to more successfully prepare for and increase the odds of successful commercialization.  No further information is available.