NSF I-CORPS Site Program

Move your technology out of the lab and into the customers' hands in this National Science Foundation (NSF) program.

On this page:

What is I-Corps?

NSF I-Corps.

The Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program is a free NSF initiative that assists researchers by evaluating their technology's market fit.  

The I-Corps site program at UB provides resources to individuals and teams in the form of seed funding, entrepreneurial mentoring, curriculum, or other assets needed to transition ideas and technology into the marketplace. 

Is this program for you?

1) Are you

  • a UB faculty member
  • a UB student or group working with a UB faculty member or
  • a group closely affiliated with a UB organization or program?

2) Is your technology or idea in alignment with what the NSF typically funds as part of its mission? If you are unsure, learn more here.

3) Are you interested in exploring the commercial potential of your technology AND willing to consider a startup to do it?

4) Are you (or your team) willing to devote the time? Each I-Corps team cohort attends three scheduled sessions, works on assignments between sessions, and obtain 25+ customer interviews over a seven-week period.

If you answered "Yes" to these questions, the NSF I-Corps Site Program at UB is right for you!

Can you imagine what could happen when you participate in such a program?

Many I-Corps Site-supported teams make "go/no-go" decisions about commercialization.

Mentorship and guidance may assist with the direct commercialization of the team projects or ideas on how to tweak the technology to best meet the customer's needs.

Your application may be submitted by site teams to NSF's national stage I-Corps Programs.

You may kick-start your new businesses and/or gain a licensing agreement.

But most of all, you walk away with knowledge of how to asses the commercial viability of any new technical advancement.  

What happens after you're accepted?

Did you know? There are possible future benefits after participating:

  • Support to attend a national conference to meet more target customers.

  • Opportunity to apply to the national stage I-Corps program; accepted teams receive $50K to continue customer discovery.

  • Leverage your experience on the next proposal (like SBIRs); submissions now contain "insider knowledge" on industry and customer. 

  • Make connections that support the future growth of your business. 

  • Access to additional technology commercialization and SBIR support.