NC State has received a $500,000 award from the National Science Foundation to advance the commercialization of research discoveries. This five-year award will be used by the Office of Technology Commercialization and New Ventures to establish the NC State I-Corps site.
The I-Corps program was created by NSF in 2011 to teach university scientists and engineers how to apply lean startup methods for bringing university-developed products and services to the marketplace. With funding provided by the program and the support and mentorship provided by the site, researchers and students are able to broaden their focus beyond the laboratory by conducting extensive market research and learning from potential customers to identify product-market fit.
NC State’s I-Corps site will open this fall and will train three cohorts per year. Each cohort will include 10 teams and each team can receive up to $3,000 in funding as they progress through the training.
Each commercialization team will include an entrepreneurial lead, an academic lead and a mentor. Teams that successfully complete the program are eligible to apply for the NSF’s I-Corps national program to receive up to $50,000 of additional funding to continue their projects.
“This is an exciting time at NC State – the combination of interest in entrepreneurial activity among faculty and students and the development of resources to support them provide the momentum to make NC State’s I-Corps site highly successful,” says Kelly Sexton, assistant vice chancellor for technology commercialization and new ventures. “This site will enable us to capitalize on the rising interest in technology commercialization and entrepreneurship across campus by providing the I-Corps experience for our university innovators.”
The site will be led by Wade Fulghum, director of new ventures. Collaborators in the NC State I-Corps site include faculty from the Poole College of Management’s TEC program.