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Nanotech and Advanced Materials Jumpstart Regional I-Corps Course – Summer 2023

May 12 @ 9:00 am - June 30 @ 11:00 am EDT


Course Description

This online course will help you explore the commercial viability of your nanotechnology and advanced materials innovations. While the purposeful development of novel materials has been a scientific endeavor throughout human history, our increased ability to manipulate and combine materials at a molecular and atomic level opens up applications in automotive, aerospace, electronics, education, energy, defense, sports, construction, and many other industry sectors. Research and development of new advanced materials for industrial applications is multi-disciplinary and can draw on expertise in the fields of chemistry, physics, nanotechnology, ceramics, metallurgy, and biomaterials – to name a few.
The Lean LaunchPad approach (also called Lean Startup) is a process to help you systematically test key assumptions about your materials 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.


The Applications of NanoParticles


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 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 Nanotech and Advanced Materials-related ideas or Intellectual Property and a strong interest in commercializing their technology.


Course Schedule

All course events occur on Fridays from 9:00-11:00AM ET (8:00-10:00AM CT):

  • Friday, May 12 – Course Orientation
  • Friday, May 19 – Product-Market Fit
  • Friday, June 2 – Customer Discovery
  • Friday, June 16 – Market Assessment
  • Friday, June 30 – 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. Questions can be directed to info@greatlakesicorps.org




May 12 @ 9:00 am EDT
June 30 @ 11:00 am EDT
Event Category:


Great Lakes Regional I-Corps Hub
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