Is my company to early (or late) stage to apply?
I am a single founder. Can I apply by myself, or do you only accept teams?
What is covered during the five-month intensive program? What is the time commitment?
I-Corps meetings and presentations will take place mid-day every Friday, April 6 through May 4. To successfully complete I-Corps (and receive $2,000 in participant support), teams are expected to conduct thirty (30) interviews with potential customers for their product or service. Post I-Corps, teams will meet with a business advisor and technical/industry advisor on an alternating and reoccurring weekly basis for the remaining four-months of the program. Weekly advising meetings are supplemented with workshops (available virtually) mentorship, and professional service provider, user group and industry meetings. Additional customized assignments and milestones are required for individual development.
I keep seeing "I-Corps" mentioned. What is it?
- Is there a clear problem/need for the technology?
- Who are our customers?
- Are they willing to pay? Willing to pay enough?
- Is the solution better than the competition?
- Is there commercial potential?
I-Corps is not about how to write a research paper, business plan, or NSF proposal. The result is not a publication or a deck of slides or even a scientific discovery. Instead, the entire startup team will be engaged with industry; talking to customers, partners and competitors; and encountering the uncertainty and excitement of creating successful innovations. The teams—composed of a technologist, entrepreneur, and business mentor or industry expert—participate in the curriculum in-person in Las Cruces, NM or online. Teams are expected to complete at least thirty (30) customer interviews over four weeks. During the I-Corps program, you and your team will:
- attend four weekly entrepreneurship seminars (approx. 1.5 hours each) mid-day every Friday, January 19 through February 9, made available in-person or virtually
- receive $2,000 in participant support which can be used for domestic travel to industry trade shows, visits to potential customers, developing prototypes and other customer discovery expenses
- have access to 30+ mentors who are available to meet with your team to provide you with business expertise and help grow your network of contacts
- receive guidance in writing proposals for the national I-Corps Team Program and SBIR/STTR grants
- obtain eligibility to apply for an I-Corps National Teams cohort $50,000 grand award