Mississippi State University received nearly half a million dollars from the National Science Foundation to launch a program to strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship in the Golden Triangle Region.
A $495,300 grant from the NSF will launch a new Innovation Corps site at MSU.
The I-Corps program teaches grantees to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research and offers entrepreneurship training to participants by combining experience and guidance from established entrepreneurs through a targeted curriculum.
The MSU College of Business’ Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach, or “CEO,” will lead the I-Corps site, providing infrastructure, advice, resources, networking opportunities, training and modest funding to enable groups to transition their work into the marketplace or into I-Corps team projects.
Thirty teams will be formed at the site annually comprised of MSU faculty, students and outside mentors. The site will also work with the university’s office of technology management to identify strong potential new technologies.
As an I-Corps site, MSU will deliver a condensed version of the national I-Corps program to participating teams.
Eric Hill, director of the CEO, said MSU’s existing infrastructure can provide the necessary resources, training and networking opportunities for the I-Corps site.
“MSU is the state leader in research, and many innovative things are being developed in the lab, but it’s really a monumental task to get them out of the lab and into the marketplace,” Hill said. “This program will give them a pathway to get it out into the marketplace and, in the best case, produce a company that can employ a lot of people in high-tech jobs.”
Sharon Oswald, dean of MSU’s College of Business, said the I-Corps site will help the university elevate entrepreneurship at MSU to the next level.
“We are very excited that we have been selected as an NSF I-Corps site,” Oswald said.
Oswald and Hill will serve as co-principal investigators on the NSF grant.