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Fall 2023 STEM Jumpstart Regional I-Corps Course

September 29 @ 12:00 pm - November 17 @ 2:00 pm EDT


Course Description

This online course will help you explore the commercial viability of your STEM-based innovation idea. The Lean LaunchPad approach (also called Lean Startup) is a process to help you systematically test key assumptions about your technology and the customer problems it might be able to solve better than current alternatives. This assessment of “technology-problem fit” is the critical first step toward commercial success for any technology venture.

Learning Objectives

  • Develop familiarity with Lean LaunchPad concepts and tools such as customer discovery, value proposition design, and business model canvas
  • Understand customers’ problems (“pain points”) from THEIR perspective
  • Map your customer ecosystem to understand customer roles, requirements, and decision processes
  • Identify modifications to your technology assumptions required to achieve product-market fit
  • Build connections to the commercial ecosystem (i.e. customers, suppliers, funders) for your innovation
  • Explore the size of your potential market, assess the competition, and identify a first target market
  • Develop a commercialization roadmap identifying key milestones and required resources to move your idea forward


Course Benefits

  • Become eligible for the NSF I-Corps National Teams program and $50,000 grant for qualifying technologies and teams (only deep-tech, university-based teams who complete at least 20-30 customer discovery interviews).
  • Receive up to $1,000 in funding for customer discovery-related expenses including but not limited to conference fees, travel, and premium LinkedIn accounts.
  • Prepare for applying to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
  • Gain valuable market insight to inform the next steps in your research and/or development.
  • Develop network connections and receive mentoring from experienced industry experts and entrepreneurs
  • Develop the entrepreneurial mindset and toolset needed for a career in academia, industry, startups, or government
This course is for faculty, researchers, and students with STEM-based ideas or Intellectual Property and a strong interest in commercializing their technology.

Course Schedule

All course events occur on Fridays from 12:00-2:00PM ET (11:00AM-1:00PM CT):
  • Friday, Sept 29 – Course Orientation
  • Friday, Oct 6 – Product-Market Fit
  • Friday, Oct 20 – Customer Discovery
  • Friday, Nov 3 – Market Assessment
  • Friday, Nov 17 – Commercialization Assessment
In between the formal course sessions, you will conduct 20-30 customer discovery interviews, complete online learning assignments, apply the tools to your own tech, and receive feedback and coaching from a team of experienced instructors/mentors.

Not sure if this program is the right fit for you? Contact us! 
Please fill out the following application and you will be contacted within 2 business days regarding acceptance.




September 29 @ 12:00 pm EDT
November 17 @ 2:00 pm EDT
Event Category:


Great Lakes Regional I-Corps Hub
View Organizer Website