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Purdue University I-Corps: Discovery – Fall 2023

October 6 @ 12:00 pm - November 10 @ 2:00 pm CDT


Course Description

These online workshops will help you explore the commercial viability of your deep tech innovation idea/IP. We teach the Lean LaunchPad approach (also called Lean Startup), 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. These courses are for researchers and students with deep tech IP and a strong interest in commercializing their technology. Researchers from other Midwest universities are welcome to apply.

Learning Objectives

  • 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 understand customer roles, requirements, and decision processes
  • Build connections to the commercial ecosystem (i.e. customers, suppliers, funders) for your innovation

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)
  • Increase chances of commercialization grants such as SBIR/STTR, PFI-TT, etc. ($250K-$2M)
  • Gain valuable market insight to inform the next steps for your idea
  • Develop network connections and receive mentoring from experienced industry experts and entrepreneurs
  • Develop an entrepreneurial mindset and toolset needed for conducting use-inspired research and roles in industry, startups, or government

Course Schedule

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.
All course events occur on Fridays from 12:00-2:00 PM EST.
  • October 6: Kickoff
  • October 13: Customer Discovery
  • October 27: Product-Market Fit
  • November 10: Next steps


Please fill out the following application and you will be contacted by program staff regarding acceptance. Questions can be directed to Geetali Pradhan, gpradhan@purdue.edu




October 6 @ 12:00 pm CDT
November 10 @ 2:00 pm CDT
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Purdue University
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