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I-Corps STEM Jumpstart

September 27 - November 15


I-Corps Jumpstart

Course Description

I-Corps Jumpstart will help you explore the commercial viability of your STEM-based innovation idea. I-Corps uses the Lean LaunchPad approach (also called Lean Startup), and it will 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. This free, online course is for faculty, researchers, and students with STEM-based ideas or Intellectual Property and a strong interest in commercializing their technology.

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
  • 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
  • Receive a digital certificate upon course completion
This course is for faculty, researchers, postdocs, and students with STEM-based ideas or Intellectual Property and a strong interest in commercializing their technology.

Course Schedule

All course events will occur virtually on Zoom on Fridays from 12:00-2:00PM ET (11:00AM-1:00PM CT): Sept 27, Oct 4, Oct 18, Nov 1, Nov 15

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.

Please note that there will be a considerable amount of work between the workshop dates and times – approximately 8-10 hours/week. We highly recommend completing this course as a team due to the workload.

Please fill out the following registration form. Questions can be directed to info@greatlakesicorps.org



September 27
November 15
Event Category:


Great Lakes Regional I-Corps Hub
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