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Iowa State University I-Corps

May 17 - June 14


Iowa State I-Corps

Course Description

The ISU I-Corps program is a training ground for faculty, postdoctoral, graduate and undergraduate students to learn how to increase the impact of their research by exploring the commercial potential of their research and technology. The five-week curriculum focuses on customer discovery to support the transition of ideas, devices, processes, or intellectual activities into the marketplace or for broader societal impact. This can be realized through the formation of new start-up businesses, licensing agreements, or identifying funding sources to support additional research.


In addition to offering industry exposure and entrepreneurial training for participating teams, the ISU I-Corps program will provide advice, resources, networking opportunities, and infrastructure for exploring commercialization opportunities, as well as connections to resources and programming available through the regional Great Lakes I-Corps Hub and the local innovation ecosystem.


Teams that complete the I-Corps program are eligible to receive $1,000 minigrants to support continued customer discovery and/or prototyping efforts to advance their innovations towards commercialization.


Learning Objectives of I-Corps

  • Develop familiarity with Lean Launchpad concepts and tools such as customer discovery, ecosystem mapping, and the Value Proposition Canvas.
  • Understand customers’ problems (“pain points”) from their perspective.
  • Map your customer ecosystem to comprehend customer roles, requirements, and decision processes.
  • Build connections with the commercial ecosystem, including customers, suppliers, and funders, for innovation.


Benefits of the I-Corps Program

  • 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)
  • Increase chances of receiving commercialization grants such as PFI-TT or SBIR/STTR
  • Gain valuable market insight to inform the next steps for creating impact from your idea
  • Gain an exceptional professional development experience appropriate for any career path—academic, industry, startup or other
  • Expand your network of like-minded peers, instructors, investors, customers, and mentors.
  • Learn, practice and hone your innovation skills


Course Schedule

  • May 17: Kickoff Session, 8:30-10:30 am CT
  • Week of May 20: Office Hours
  • May 31: Mid-point Session, 8:30-10:30 am CT
  • Week of June 3: Office Hours
  • June 14: Wrap-Up Session, 8:30-10:30 am CT


Please fill out the following application and you will be contacted by program staff regarding acceptance. Questions can be directed to Kris Johansen, kajohans@iastate.edu.




May 17
June 14
Event Category:


Iowa State University
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