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University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign I-Corps

June 5 @ 10:00 am - July 10 @ 12:30 pm CDT


University of Illinois I-Corps

Registration for this cohort is now closed. Questions can be directed to Kearsa Rawson, klrawson@illinois.edu.


Come enroll in the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign’s summer I-Corps program. We will meet 4 times over the course of the summer to help teams hone their customer discovery skills. Participants will have the opportunity to learn crucial skills to navigate the commercialization process for their ventures. We welcome you to join us and learn from both amazing instructors and collaborate with other entrepreneurs.

This course provides a set of skills and entrepreneurial knowledge that can be applied to any career path. It uses the Lean LaunchPad method to give participants a working knowledge of how to think about their innovation ideas from a business and customer perspective, as well as how to conduct customer discovery interviews; the first step in any commercialization process. This free course is for faculty, researchers, postdocs, and students interested in practicing and honing their innovation skills.  


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).
  • Upon completion of the workshop and the customer discovery interviews, you and/or your team may be eligible for for a mini-grant of up to $500. Funds may be reimbursed customer discovery interview travel expenses.  
  • Prepare for applying to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) 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


Course Schedule

All course events held in-person at Coordinated Science Laboratory, 1308 W Main Street, Urbana, IL 61801

  • June 5 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM CT
  • June 12 10:00 AM  – 12:30 PM CT
  • June 26 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM CT
  • July 10 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM CT





June 5 @ 10:00 am CDT
July 10 @ 12:30 pm CDT
Event Category:


Coordinated Science Laboratory
1308 W Main Street
Urbana, IL 61801 United States