Transition your technology idea from the lab to the marketplace

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. The I-Corps program at University at Buffalo provides resources to teams in the form of curriculum on market assessment, entrepreneurial mentoring, and other assets needed to transition ideas, devices, processes or other intellectual activities into the marketplace. In this program, teams will get out of the laboratory/university and engage in conversations with a variety of people connected to the deployment and use of the technology, product or service.

I-Corps Program.

Program Benefits

UB participates as a site for both the NSF I-Corps and the I-Corps @ NCATS (National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences) supported by the NIH (National Institutes of Health). Both programs are comprised of a short course, which combines business model training with a customer discovery process. The short course helps prepare teams to apply to go on to a national program at NSF or NIH, and are designed to help all participants, regardless of the stage of development of their innovation. While the principles of both programs are generally the same, each has some unique eligibility, requirements and goals.  

Review Our Programs:

NSF I-Corps I-Corps @ NCATS


NSF I-Corps Program

  • 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
  • Prepare 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.


NSF I-Corps Program

  • 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

NSF I-Corps Program 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.


NSF I-Corps Program

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. 


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.

6+ new companies have been formed

Millions of dollars in prizes and grants awarded to companies

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

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

Additional resources for startup growth

Accelerator Fund.

Move technology innovations with commercial potential closer to market with support from the Buffalo Innovation Accelerator Fund.


Get up to $100,000 in pre-seed startup capital and help from experienced entrepreneurs through the UB Cultivator.


Start your own business or explore entrepreneurship as a career path with expertise and resources from Blackstone LaunchPad, our student entrepreneurship program.