An Awesome Opportunity: NSF I-Corps Programs @ UR

By Ain CFE Staff

The University of Rochester supports the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps Programs and, in honor of the upcoming short course, here’s an overview of what the Ain Center runs and how these programs can help launch your venture. 

Do you have a background in science, technology, or a related field? You may be a perfect candidate for the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps Programs. I-Corps is a partnership program that allows university entrepreneurs to identify valuable opportunities that can emerge from academic research and offers entrepreneurship training to participants. With emphasis on strategy, consumer research, and development, I-Corps provides a crash-course in entrepreneurial thinking. At the University of Rochester, we offer a few variations of the program:

NSF I-Corps Site Program

  • Local teams transition their ideas, devices, or processes into the marketplace
  • More than 50 hubs across the United States (including the University of Rochester)
  • Provides participants with advice, resources, training, and networking opportunities
  • Funding (up to $3,000 per team) to further their research or development processes
  • Site graduates can apply to I-Corps Teams National Program, which awards grants of up to $50,000

NSF I-Corps Node Program

  • Supports regional needs for innovation education, infrastructure, and research
  • Upstate New York (UNY) Node – University of Rochester, Cornell University, and Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Participants complete a two-week Short Course aimed at graduate students and post-docs
  • Graduates of the Short Course receive NSF lineage and can apply for other NSF grants
  • Short Courses are offered in Rochester at least twice a year

Though we do not host the NSF I-Corps Team Program (below), this is an option for those who have completed either of the programs listed above. The Teams Program is a large commitment, but participants gain access to significant resources and business know-how.

NSF I-Corps Team Program

  • Applicants must have NSF lineage (and prior completion of a Site or Node program is strongly recommended)
  • Participants complete an intensive 7-week program offered throughout the United States
  • Provides opportunities for NSF funding and other high-level resources, including an increased chance of receiving SBIR and STTR grant awards

The benefits of participating in these programs are long-lasting. To learn more about the University of Rochester’s participation in I-Corps programs and for more information regarding eligibility and the application process, please visit the Ain Center for Entrepreneurship’s website.

Who can help?

Natalie Antal

Associate Director
1-211C Carol Simon Hall
(585) 276-4511

Matthew Spielmann

Senior Program Manager
1-217 Dewey Hall
(585) 273-3967