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National Science Foundation Innovation Corps

Purdue NSF I-Corps Site

Purdue NSF I-Corps Site

About NSF I-Corps

National Science Foundation's (NSF) Innovation Corps or I-Corps is a public-private partnership program that teaches university faculty and graduate student entrepreneurs with a targeted curriculum to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research, and provides entrepreneurship training to participants.

Purdue University’s designation as an NSF I-Corps site (effective March 1, 2015) is the result of collaboration between the Krannert School of Management, the Foundry at the Burton Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, the College of Engineering, and the College of Technology.

I-Corps Programs at Purdue

Graduate students in science, technology, engineering and management can participate in the Lean LaunchPad courses offered in the Fall (Biomedship) and Spring (Technology Entrepreneurship & Lean Startups) semesters. Each team is supported with an I-Corps grant of up to $3,000 to cover travel and prototyping costs*.

Faculty-led teams who have completed the LaunchBox program can form a startup team and apply for an I-Corps grant of up to $3,000 to support planning of their startup and/or preparing to apply for an Express License from the Office of Technology Commercialization*.

In either program, the outcome is an investment-ready business model and commercialization plan for the idea or technology that the team has been exploring. Equally important is the experiential and evidence-based learning that will inform and shape the team members’ ongoing translational research.

Benefits of Participating in an I-Corps Program

Whether taking a Lean LaunchPad course or working with an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Foundry there are many benefits to I-Corps participants:

  • Mentoring from local experts
  • Seed Funding (up to $3k)
  • Opportunity to be referred for a $50k NSF National I-Corps team award
  • Online educational resources
  • Access to the National Innovation Network.
  • Ongoing help to commercialize your idea
  • NSF I-Corps curriculum based on the Lean Launchpad methodology
  • License for LaunchPad Central to manage your business model development
  • Increased success in obtaining follow-on Funding Opportunities:
    • Trask Innovation Awards ($50K)
    • SBIR Phase 1 ($225k)
    • SBIR Phase 2 ($750K)
    • Elevate Ventures ($20K - $100K)
    • Venturewell Programs ($5-$50k)

* The use of I-Corps Site grant funds can include, but is not limited to: acquisition of modest amounts of equipment or materials needed to fabricate prototypes; travel expenses to consult with potential clients or experts; training or education related to entrepreneurial immersion; or, other resources needed to directly advance the goals of transitioning a team's project into the marketplace. I-Corps Site funds should not be used for legal or administrative costs.