National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Innovation Corps, or I-Corps, is a public-private partnership program for university faculty and student entrepreneurs working on STEM-related technology. I-Corps consists of a targeted curriculum to identify valuable product opportunities that may emerge from academic research. Additionally, the program provides entrepreneurship training to participants.
The Illinois I-Corps Site is a collaboration between the Technology Entrepreneur Center in the College of Engineering and EnterpriseWorks at the Research Park with participation from the Office of Technology Management and IllinoisVentures.
The Illinois I-Corps site offers 4 cohorts each year (2 per semester) on a rolling submission application cycle. The program consists of 3 workshops over 6 weeks, where teams work to validate the market size, value propositions, and customer segments of their technology. Also, I-Corps supports each team with a grant of up to $2,000 to cover travel and prototyping costs.
I-Corps provides education and funding to faculty and student entrepreneurs.