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Summer 2023 University of Wisconsin-Madison I-Corps Course

June 1 @ 5:00 pm - July 6 @ 7:30 pm CDT


3 Students work together on a project.


Course Description

Does your latest discovery have commercial value? Learn about the impact your research or innovation could have in solving real-world problems by attending the UW-Madison I-Corps virtual workshop. Accepted teams will complete a virtual, six-week I-Corps training taught by NSF I-Corps trained instructors using the value proposition canvas to learn about assumption/hypothesis testing, customer ecosystem roles, and customer discovery.
Customer discovery is the process of identifying your potential customers and the problems your innovation could solve. The free, non-credit virtual workshop is open to research faculty, staff, and students at any institution of higher education. During the workshop, participants will have assistance from the TEO Mentor Network. Successful teams completing the UW-Madison I-Corps training may qualify for and be recommended to the National I-Corps Teams program.

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
  • Increase chances of receiving commercialization grants such as PFI-TT or SBIR/STTR and other funding opprotunities
  • 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

  • June 1 (5-7:30 pm CT) Workshop Orientation
  • June  8 (5-7:30 pm CT) Value Proposition Canvas
  • June 15 (5:00-7:30 pm CT) Hypothesis Testing and Interviewing
  • June 22 (5:00-7:30 pm CT) Ecosystem Mapping
  • June 29 (5:00-6:00 pm CT) Q&A Session (Optional)
  • July 6 (5:00-7:00 pm CT) Wrap-up Session
This workshop will require a time commitment of approximately four-six hours/week, on average. This includes attending all required sessions, a minimum of four office hours with an assigned team mentor, and a minimum of 20 customer discovery interviews (planning, scheduling, conducting interviews, and recording results to be shared with instructors and mentors).


Please fill out the following application and you will be contacted within 2 business days regarding acceptance. Questions can be directed to Bonnie Bachman at bjbachman@wisc.edu.





June 1 @ 5:00 pm CDT
July 6 @ 7:30 pm CDT
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