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National Science Foundation
I-Corp - NSF Innovation Corps

I-Corps Curriculum

The I-Corps curriculum provides real-world, hands-on, immersive learning about what it takes to successfully transfer knowledge into products and processes that benefit society. It's not about how to write a research paper, business plan, or NSF proposal. The end result is not a publication or a deck of slides or even a scientific discovery.

Instead the entire I-Corps Team will be engaged with industry; talking to customers, partners, and competitors; and encountering the chaos and uncertainty of creating successful innovations. Getting out of the laboratory/university is what the effort is about.

This curriculum requires full participation from the entire I-Corps Team. (Each team member must commit to in-depth preparation, attendance at the lectures and workshops, and at least 15 additional hours per week for Customer Discovery.

The I-Corps curriculum is built on a special, accelerated version of Stanford University's Lean LaunchPad course (ENGR 245) and additional elements designed just for I-Corps grantees. All I-Corps Team members will be required to attend a kick-off workshop at an I-Corps Node (Stanford University, Georgia Tech or the University of Michigan), to join a series of web-based lectures *, and to present their business pitches at a meeting of I-Corps grantees. All I-Corps Team members also are expected to invest significant effort in their projects outside of the university/laboratory environment.

Participation in the I-Corps curriculum is mandatory.

Important Curriculum Dates and Times:

Winter 2015

Cohort I

January 12-14: introductory workshop (location TBA)

January 20, 27, February 3, 10, 17 (Tuesdays, 1-4 p.m. Eastern): web-based discussions

February 23-24: lessons learned (location TBA)

Cohort II

February 2-4: introductory workshop (location TBA)

February 11, 18, 25, March 4, 11 (Wednesdays, 1-4 p.m. Eastern): web-based discussions

March 16-17: lessons learned (location TBA)

Spring 2015

Cohort I

April 13-15: introductory workshop (location TBA)

April 21, 28, May 5, 12, 19 (Tuesdays, 1-4 p.m. Eastern): web-based discussions May 28-29: lessons learned (location TBA)

Cohort II

April 22-24: introductory workshop (location TBA)

April 29, May 6, 13, 20, 27 (Wednesdays, 1-4 p.m. Eastern): web-based discussions

June 4-5: lessons learned (location TBA)

Summer 2015

Cohort I

July 8-10: introductory workshop (location TBA)

July 14, 21, 28, August 9, 11 (Tuesdays, 1-4 p.m. Eastern): web-based discussions

August 17-18: lessons learned (location TBA)

Cohort II

July 15-17: introductory workshop (location TBA)

July 22, 29, August 5, 12, 19 (Wednesdays, 1-4 p.m. Eastern): web-based discussions

August 27-28: lessons learned (location TBA)

Cohort III

I-Corps for Learning (I-Corps L) – a cohort dedicated to Teams from education

Dates TBD

To see the related E245 course description, syllabus and previous final presentations, visit Stanford's E245 course website.


* Tech requirements for weekly, web-based lectures are:

  • Processor >2 GHz with latest Windows or Mac OS
  • Connection speed greater than 700 kb/sec
  • Installed video camera
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.