NSF I-Corps Site Program

I-Corps Site Program.

Transition your technology from the lab to the marketplace.

About I-Corps

NSF I-Corps.

The I-Corps program is an initiative developed by the National Science Foundation (NSF) that teaches researchers and innovators how to evaluate a technology or idea for the marketplace. An important goal of the I-Corps program is to encourage technical entrepreneurship and teach teams how to think about commercialization.

UB is collaborating with the UNY I-Corps Node on a Regional Course.  Through this course participants  learn how to “get out of the lab” and talk to potential customers. The goal is to determine if they are solving a real-world problem with a sizeable market opportunity.

Benefits of I-Corps

The program may assist you in:

  • Broadening your network
  • Discovering a market not previously considered
  • Increasing the probability of grant success 
  • Commercialize idea or pivot
  • Launch a startup business 
  • Gain a licensing agreement
  • Preparing for the NSF’s National I-Corps Program

Most of all, you will walk away with knowledge of how to assess the commercial viability of any new technical advancement.

Eligibility & Requirements


  • UB faculty member
  • UB student or group working with a UB faculty member
  • Group closely affiliated with a UB organization or program
  • Staff, clinician, faculty or student of an Innovation Hub Partner Institution


I-Corps is ideal for a technology or idea in alignment with what the NSF typically funds as part of its mission, however is open to all technology areas.

I-Corps is perfect for:

  • Early-stage projects looking to assess a commercial opportunity
  • University researchers that are in the process of or have filed an invention disclosure
  • SBIR/STTR Phase I awardees
  • Companies looking to commercialize new technologies

Team Composition & Committment

It is strongly encouraged that participants apply to this program as a team of at least two people and no more than three.  A typical team consists of at least one scientific or technological expert (scientific leader) who is responsible for the team's idea and at least one student, alumni, staff or post-doctoral fellow interested in conducting entrepreneurial research and directing group efforts.  The entrepreneurial leader does not need to have business experience., but is committed to leading or organizing team activities during the I-Corps Site. 

Teams may not split attendance between members. The Team Lead is required to attend and participate fully in every course session.

Please visit the UNY I-Corps Node for more details on how the program works and to apply. 

Our Success

The program has been a tremendous success giving technical experts a valuable and entirely different professional experience on their path to commercialize their technological triumphs.

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6+ New Companies have been formed

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Millions of dollars in prizes and grants awarded to companies

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15 teams awarded more than $1.1M in Buffalo Accelerator Fund grants

that will help commercialize their technologies (tasks largely informed by I-Corps customer engagements)

Check back for more information on future cohorts or regional course options with our partner UNY I-Corps Node.

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I-Corps is a prerequisite for the Buffalo Innovation Accelerator Fund as it strengthens the proposal by providing insights on the market and commercial potential.

An early-stage, evergreen venture capital fund dedicated to funding and growing the next generation of outstanding businesses in Buffalo.

Welcoming all students, alumni, faculty and staff, regardless of discipline, experience or degree program. Because with the tools, resources and network available through Blackstone LaunchPad and our partners, anyone can be an entrepreneur.