DC National Science Foundation Innovation Corps Accepting Applications from Mid-Atlantic for Fall

Free Program Helps Researchers Explore the Commercial Potential of Technologies

The DC National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program isnow accepting applications for its October cohort.

Open to research teams and technology entrepreneurs from universities, federal laboratories, agencies and the general community in the Mid-Atlantic Region, the free program guides researchers in exploring the commercial potential of their inventions.

"I-Corps provides real world, hands-on training on how to successfully incorporate innovations into successful products," said DC I-Corps Director Edmund Pendleton. "The ultimate goal is to create a new venture or licensing opportunity for program participants."

The I-Corps curriculum takes teams through a seven-week program based upon Stanford University's Lean LaunchPad course, with additional elements designed just for I-Corps participants. The program's methodology draws upon decades of experience in Silicon Valley, emphasizing talking to as many potential customers as possible, pivoting in response to resulting insights, building low-cost prototypes to get customer feedback, constantly adapting, and building a scalable business model.

Participating teams in the DC I-Corps program engage extensively with industry. Teams talk to a minimum of one hundred customers, partners, competitors and market stakeholders, seek a solid product-market fit and build a viable business model for their innovations.

Previous teams have cited the following as benefits to participating in I-Corps:
• Greater understanding of technology/innovation and how it can benefit society
• Knowledge about how to commercialize technology and the barriers to adoption
• New market opportunities not previously considered
• New skills and toolset for testing innovative ideas, making research more commercially relevant, and assessing potential new ventures
• Greater self-confidence and better presentation/interpersonal skills in typical business settings
• Savings in time and money through an accelerated understanding about the real value of innovation, from the market perspective
• Expanded network through interaction with teachers, investors, customers, and mentors
• Satisfaction in building an innovation ecosystem that benefits the region
• Enhanced career opportunities

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), DC I-Corps is jointly offered by the University of Maryland, George Washington University, and Virginia Tech. The program is part of the NSF’s National Innovation Network, which is designed to propel research to market.

For more information and to apply, technology researchers and entrepreneurs are encouraged to visit www.dcicorps.org.
DC I-Corps is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and is a partnership of the University of Maryland, George Washington University, and Virginia Tech.

Published August 26, 2013