The University of Utah has become a National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Site. Through this program, the NSF seeks to develop and nurture a national innovation ecosystem that builds upon fundamental research. It wants to benefit society by identifying promising research and projects with a potential to impact the greater society through commercialization. Investigators selected for seed grants will receive support - in the form of mentoring, funding and education - to accelerate innovations that can attract subsequent third-party investment.
I-Corps seed grants give the project team access to capital and resources to prototype and de-risk their technology and make informed market and stakeholder based business decisions on its commercialization potential.
Expected outcome of the I-Corps projects will be threefold:
Expectations from the I-Corps Grant:
Completion of the I-Corps grant is expected to contribute to one or more of the following:
Team: An I-Corp team will need to be established prior to proposal submission.
The I-Corps team will consist of three roles:
The Entrepreneurial Lead could be a faculty member, Resident, Post-Doctoral scholar, graduate or other student with relevant knowledge of the technology and a deep commitment to investigate the commercial landscape surrounding the innovation. The Entrepreneurial Lead should also be capable and have the will to support the transition of the technology, should the I-Corps project demonstrate the potential for commercial viability. The approach to develop the technology disposition will be a structured hypothesis/validation approach. The Entrepreneurial Lead will be responsible for proceeding along a content-guided path to develop, over the course of the 12-week grant, a final technology disposition plan. We will help you find an EL/team if you do not have one identified.
The I-Corps Mentor will be an experienced or emerging entrepreneur with proximity to the institution and experience in transitioning technology to commercialization. The I-Corps Mentor will be responsible for guiding the team forward and tracking progress through regular communication with the Cognizant NSF I-Corps site director. The mentor is not paid for going through the program, but could become part of the venture if all parties so desire. We will assign you a suitable Mentor.
The Principal Investigator will be responsible for overall grant management. There is no specified limit on the number of Principal Investigators (PI), but a PI is limited to one I-Corps proposal during each submission window.
Commitment to participate in the program elements and pursue online curriculum:
During 2015-2016 program, all teams will participate in nine training sessions:
Fall 2015 session: November 4; November 18; December 2
Winter 2016 session: January 13; January 27; February 10
Spring 2016 session: March 9; March 23; April 6
In addition, the teams may be asked to present their "elevator pitch" during the Translational Medicine Conference 2016 (Winter 2016, to be announced)