The I-Corps program teaches entrepreneurial skills to teams of faculty, students, and/or staff at University of Massachusetts Lowell, The University of Massachusetts Medical School, University of Massachusetts Boston, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Middlesex Community College.
The program is experiential. You will learn entrepreneurial skills while participating in the program.
- Teams will receive instruction and mentorship.
- Teams will conduct 10-12 interviews with potential customers and record insights to gain a better understanding of customers and testing business assumptions.
Faculty members with unique research-based innovations can determine the commercialization potential of their innovations are encouraged to apply online. Faculty are encouraged to enlist the help of a graduate student or a post-doc who can help advance the team’s efforts by participating in workshops and training seminars, doing the work associated with identifying viable markets for new products and technology, and developing a strategy to bring them to market.
Students developing new ideas that are not linked to their graduate program or a faculty member's research are encouraged to come together as a group of 2-3 individuals with complementary skill sets. They should consider enlisting the advice and counsel of a faculty member who has relevant technical or industry-based information. While this faculty member may not be expected to be involved in the day-to-day operations of the fledgling business, or participate fully in workshops or training activities, they might provide:
- advice to fine-tune a student idea
- existing technology to operationalize a concept
- technical support for student-developed innovations or technology
- credibility to student efforts
Key benefits to I-Corps teams include:
- Participating faculty and student teams will be awarded micro grant support up to $3,000.00, with opportunity for follow on funding.
- Participants get NSF lineage, which is helpful for future I-Corps grant funding.
- Participants are not required to have previous experience in business or entrepreneurship in order to be accepted into the I-Corps program.
- These funds will be split among 30 teams per year to help them move innovative research toward commercialization.
- Engagement in the I-Corps curriculum. NSF Lean Launch curriculum which provides entrepreneurial education and coaching maximize their opportunities for success.
- Access to the National Innovation Network (NIN). The NIN is a national pipeline of collaborators, mentors and partners.
Students looking for a technology to commercialize should contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at 978-934-4708 where they can learn about technologies invented at UMass Lowell that may be available for licensing.
If you are interested in applying please fill out an application and Financial Plan. The financial plan can be emailed to Ruth Dubey at: Ruth_Dubey2@uml.edu or uploaded in the application. Start the I-Corp Customer Discovery Training module or log an interview.
In addition if you have any questions regarding the application or financial plan please contact Ruth Dubey.