Success Story

Researchers encouraged to turn tech into a startup through I-Corps short course

Penn State’s I-Corps short course is accepting applications for its March cohort. The no-cost program helps researchers test a startup idea through customer discovery and lean startup methodology. The cohort will begin on March 10 and runs through March 24. 

Apply to the short course by March 1.  

The NSF I-Corps program uses experiential education to help researchers gain valuable insight into entrepreneurship, starting a business or industry requirements and challenges. Participants learn valuable skills in connecting with customers, asking the right questions, and how to find partners to help get startup ideas off the ground. Through I-Corps training, researchers can reduce the time to translate a promising idea from the laboratory to the marketplace. 

The short course will expose participants to key stakeholders and funding resources in the entrepreneurship community, increase chances of receiving an SBIR/STTR award, and put participants in an excellent position to apply for the National I-Corps Program. 

Penn State industrial engineering Ph.D. candidate and Diefenderfer Graduate Fellow in Entrepreneurship Ankur Verma participated in a regional I-Corps short course, which prepared him to participate in the National I-Corps program this past fall. 

“The National I-Corps program taught me how to communicate my technology’s value proposition for the customer without going into details of the technology itself,” Verma said. “I want to recommend this program specifically to graduate students in the deep tech space. This experience makes you think about and explain things in a very simple way, however complicated your technology may be.” 

Read more about Verma’s I-Corps experience. 

Penn State teams are also welcome to apply to other regional short course offerings from the broader region. Contact the Penn State NSF I-Corps Program Manager, Derek Gross, to find the best solution for your team. 

Learn more about NSF I-Corps at Penn State. 

About NSF I-Corps  

Penn State University is part of the NSF I-Corps Mid-Atlantic Hub, a network of universities, NSF-funded researchers, established entrepreneurs, local and regional entrepreneurial communities, and other federal agencies. Hubs work collaboratively to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem throughout the United States.