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University of Minnesota I-Corps Course – Fall 2023

October 13 @ 12:00 pm - November 17 @ 2:00 pm CDT


Course Description

You’ve identified a specific innovation that you think you may want to commercialize. Now what?

This program applies the Lean Startup approach and Customer Discovery methods to specific innovations. External industry executives, as well as experts from the Office for Technology Commercialization, the UMN Libraries, and the Carlson School of Management, will be available to help. Up to $3000 is available to support customer discovery for academic teams. Hybrid format. Lunch is provided for in-person participants.

You’ll learn and apply the Lean LaunchPad customer development concepts promoted by the NSF I-Corps program. Successful completion of this program by academic teams or ventures with university-licensed technologies can lead to qualification for recommendation to the National I-Corps Teams program, which includes a $50,000 grant.

Learning Objectives

  • How to apply LaunchPad concepts, such as value proposition design, business model canvas, and customer discovery
  • How to map the stakeholder/customer ecosystem to understand customer roles, requirements, and decision processes
  • How to conduct interviews and observations in order to customers’ problems (“pain points”)
  • How to modify a solution in order to achieve product-market fit
  • How to identify the components of a commercialization roadmap identifying key milestones and required resources
  • How to determine market size, assess competition, and select the beachhead (first) target market

Course Schedule

All Sessions are held in person, 12-2 pm CT

  • 10/13 – Module 0: Introduction
  • 10/20 – Module 1: Product-Market Fit
  • 10/27 – Module 2: Customer Discovery
  • 11/3 – Module 3: Introduction to platform technology and FDA approval
  • 11/10 – Module 4: Pathway to Commercialization
  • 11/17 – Module 5: Market Assessment


Please fill out the following application. Questions can be directed to amahoney@umn.edu



October 13 @ 12:00 pm CDT
November 17 @ 2:00 pm CDT
Event Category:


University of Minnesota
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University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Minneapolis, MN 55455 United States
(612) 625-5000
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