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NSF expands entrepreneurship training for tech startups at six I-Corps™ nodes

50th NSF Innovation Corps cohort

NSF I-Corps recently trained its 50th cohort of academic teams and will pilot I-Corps for startups.

November 15, 2017

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded supplements to six Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) nodes to launch a pilot “Phase Zero” I-Corps program.

Through this program, each of the selected NSF I-Corps nodes will support non-academic teams to help determine the commercial readiness of their technology concept and identify the key obstacles they must overcome to launch their product into the marketplace.

Teams will receive national I-Corps training as well as guidance on some of the more common issues in startup formation, including incorporation, licensing and negotiation of intellectual property, fundraising and others. These training programs will help Phase Zero I-Corps teams better prepare a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) proposal. This new initiative is a collaboration between the NSF I-Corps and NSF SBIR/STTR programs.

Eight to 10 teams at each of the following nodes will participate in Phase Zero I-Corps during the pilot year:

  • D.C. regional node (University of Maryland, George Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, Virginia Tech)
  • Midwest node (University of Michigan, Purdue University, University Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, University of Toledo)
  • New York City regional node (City University of New York, Columbia University, New York University)
  • South node (Georgia Tech; University of Alabama at Birmingham; University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; University of Tennessee, Knoxville)
  • Southwest node (University of Texas at Austin, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Rice University, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University)
  • Southern California node (University of Southern California; Caltech; University of California, Los Angeles) 

NSF I-Corps nodes are designed to support regional needs for innovation education, infrastructure and research. The nodes work cooperatively to build, utilize and sustain a national innovation ecosystem that further enhances the development of technologies, products and processes that benefit society. Learn more about nodes and National Innovation Network at the NSF I-Corps website.



Media Contact
Sarah Bates, NSF, (703) 292-7738, 

Program Contacts
Steven Konsek, NSF, (703) 292-7021,
Cindy WalkerPeach, NSF, (703) 292-8437,

Related Websites
NSF Innovation Corps program:  
NSF Small Business Innovation Research program:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2020, its budget is $8.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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