NSF I-Corps Teams

An intensive seven-week innovation and entrepreneurship training course for scientists and engineers.

In NSF’s I-Corps Teams national program, top researchers in science and engineering fields are immersed in a hands-on experience of customer discovery — a key step in the entrepreneurial process that involves talking to potential customers, partners, and other industry stakeholders.

Selected teams are awarded up to $50,000 to conduct 100+ customer discovery interviews during a seven-week course. Through this process, the teams learn how to evaluate the potential for translating their laboratory invention into a successful product and/or service.

I-Corps Teams is a virtual course that is offered about 12 times per year.

two scientists working in a lab

In I-Corps, STEM researchers learn how to get out of their comfort zone and talk with customers to learn how to evaluate a market opportunity.

three people in a business meeting

Participant Benefits

  • Training to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research​​
  • Guidance from established entrepreneurs
  • NSF funding up to $50,000 for customer discovery
  • Strengthen application for SBIR/STTR grants (up to $1.5 million)
a woman in a virtual meeting

Before You Apply: Complete a Regional I-Corps Course

Completing a Regional I-Corps course is an NSF requirement for anyone who intends to be the Entrepreneurial Lead on an I-Corps Teams application, and is recommended for all team members.

What is I-Corps Teams Really Like?

We interviewed several teams moments after their final presentations and asked them about their experience!

Advice for teams preparing for I-Corps

The I-Corps Teams program is a challenging, yet very rewarding experience for many researchers. Learn valuable tips from teams that have completed the program.

Why do the I-Corps Teams program?

The I-Corps Teams program helps researchers look at their innovation from a different perspective and understand what the public needs and wants. Then, they can confidently further evolve their innovation and research to solve that market demand.

I-Corps Aha Moments

Participants in the I-Corps Teams program share what they were surprised to learn about their target markets.

Questions About the NSF I-Corps Teams Program?

Reach out to us at [email protected] and we will follow up with you.