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Spring 2023 University of Nebraska-Lincoln I-Corps: Introduction to Customer Discovery

March 6 @ 4:00 pm - April 17 @ 6:30 pm CST


Course Description

Could your idea eventually become a product or a service? Are you interested in bringing new perspectives to your research program?  Do you want to consider starting a business?


Join us for Nebraska I-Corps: Introduction to Customer Discovery (ICD), a free entrepreneurship training program led by NUtech Ventures. We’ll be teaching about value propositions, stakeholder ecosystems, interviewing prospective customers, and more. You’ll get to interview people in your field and learn which problems are important to them — and then consider what that means for your solution.


Our six-week program includes large group training sessions taught by NSF I-Corps-trained instructors, featuring interactive course content and practice in small groups. You’ll also take part in one-on-one office hours with trained coaches from various entrepreneurship resource providers, such as NUtech Ventures and the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC).


The free, non-credit training program is open to all faculty, staff and students within the University of Nebraska system. If you are not affiliated with the university but have a recommendation from an instructor, please let us know who referred you on your application. Due to limited program capacity, we will review your application and notify you if you are accepted.


Learning Objectives

  • Develop familiarity with Lean LaunchPad concepts and tools such as customer discovery, ecosystem mapping, and the Business Model 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)
  • Learn, practice, and hone your innovation skills.
  • Improve the odds for commercial success.
  • Expand your network of like-minded peers, instructors, investors, customers, and mentors.
  • Prepare for applying to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

Course Schedule

  • March 6th (4:00-6:30pm CT)
  • March 20th (4:00-6:30pm CT)
  • April 3rd (4:00-6:30pm CT)
  • April 17th (4:00-6:30pm CT)


This program will require a time commitment of approximately six hours/week, on average, or 36 hours total over the course of the six-week program. This includes attending all four large group training sessions, a minimum of three individual office hours, and a minimum of 15 customer discovery interviews (planning/scheduling, conducting interviews, and recording results to be shared with instructors).


Please fill out the following application and you will be contacted within 2 business days regarding acceptance. For more information, email Joy Eakin, NUtech’s entrepreneurship program manager: jeakin@nutechventures.org.





March 6 @ 4:00 pm CST
April 17 @ 6:30 pm CST
Event Category:


University of Nebraska-Lincoln
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