Success Story

NSF Awards Penn State $500,000 for Research Commercialization Efforts

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. —The National Science Foundation (NSF) has award Penn State a five-year, $500,000 Innovations Coprs (I-Corps) grant to establish the Invent Penn State I-Corps Site, in collaboration with Ben Franklin Technology Partner’s TechCeleratorHappy Valley LaunchBox, and the Invent Penn State Innovation Hubs.

“NSF and the other federal agencies are committed to growing the impact of federal research funding by encouraging inventors to connect with mentors and speak to potential customers off campus,” said Vice President for Research Neil Sharkey. “This new I-Corps Site grant will allow us to assist more faculty, students and community members interested in exploring market opportunities for their ideas.”

The Invent Penn State I-Corps Site programs will be piloted at Penn State University Park and Penn State Altoona during the fall 2017 semester, and then expanded to include additional campuses in 2018-19. Selected teams will:

  • receive a mini-grant of up to $2,500, which can be used to attend industry trade shows, visit potential customers, develop prototypes; and cover customer discovery expenses;
  • have a dedicated mentor who meets with teams to provide business expertise, advice on pitch development and funding strategies, and help grow a network of contacts;
  • have priority opportunities to showcase their new venture at the Invent Penn State Venture & IP Conference on April 19-20, 2018;
  • become eligible to apply for an I-Corps National Teams $50,000 grant award; and
  • qualify for an increasing number of NSF grant awards that require NSF I-Corps training as a criteria for eligibility.

Faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, recent alumni and community members interested in exploring the commercial viability of their idea or innovation can apply to one of a number of established programs based on the lean startup and customer discovery methods endorsed by NSF I-Corps. At University Park, eligible teams can apply to one of two qualified programs:

Ben Franklin Technology Partner’s TechCelerator programFall applications are due Sept. 15, 2017.

Happy Valley LaunchBox FastTrack Accelerator.  Fall applications are due Oct. 15, 2017.

At Penn State Altoona, eligible teams can apply to:

Altoona LaunchBox 8-week Training Program

Contact James Delattre at jld141@psu.edu for questions on eligibility or award details. Penn State Commonwealth Campuses interested in participating in the 2018-19 Invent Penn State I-Corps Site expansion should contact Rick Brazier at rab27@psu.edu.

 

“This new I-Corps Site grant will allow us to assist more faculty, students and community members interested in exploring market opportunities for their ideas.”

Neil Sharkey
Vice President for Research

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