The New York City Regional Innovation Node aims to spur translation of fundamental research to the market place, to encourage collaboration between academia and industry, and to train funded faculty, students and other researchers to understand innovation and entrepreneurship.

The purpose of the NSF I-Corps ™ program is to identify NSF-funded researchers who will receive additional support (in the form of mentoring and funding) to accelerate the translation of knowledge derived from fundamental research into emerging products and services that can attract subsequent third-party funding.


The program begins with various teams submitting their entrepreneurial idea in the I-Corps application process. Each team consists of three members: The Entrepreneurial Lead, the Technical Lead, and Industry Mentor.

The Entrepreneurial Lead ( EL ) can be a postdoctoral scholar, graduate, or other student with relevant knowledge of the proposed technology and a deep commitment to investigating the commercial landscape surrounding the innovation. The Entrepreneurial Lead should also be both willing and able to support the transition of the technology, should the I-Corps project demonstrate the potential for commercial viability.

The Technical Lead (TL) will typically be a faculty member, senior research scientist or postdoctoral scholar with deep and direct technical expertise in the actual core technology about which the I-Corps team is exploring commercial potential.

The Industry Mentor( IM ) will typically be an experienced or emerging entrepreneur who operates in proximity to the institution and is experienced in transitioning technology out of academic labs. The Industry Mentor may be recommended by the proposing institution or may be a member of the NSF-supported I-Corps Mentors network. The Industry Mentor will be responsible for guiding the team forward and reporting on its progress through regular communication with the cognizant NSF I-Corps Program Director.

The teams who have been selected make up the I-Corps cohort.

*The 5-year NSF funding linkage requirement is for National Cohorts only.


  • Concentrated time to focus on commercialization activities
  • Identify commercial potential for your technology to increase probability of grant success and/or raising venture capital
  • Learn about the Lean LaunchPad process and how to properly organize and focus on your customer segment
  • Build relationships with experienced entrepreneurs and investors who can help you bring your product to market
  • Students prepared to be entrepreneurially competitive
  • Attract top students to your lab
  • Previous results include: new start-up business, licensing agreements, SBIR/STTR awards, business plan suitable for review by third-party investors


  1. Perform continuous customer discovery (teams are required to conduct at least 100 customer interviews)
  2. Watch course videos on business model canvas topics; subsequently create and present weekly presentations on the team’s current business model canvas
  3. Final presentation of lessons learned at finale of cohort
  4. A clear go/no go decision regarding viability of products and services
    • The go/no go decision of the proposed effort will be made by the I-Corps team in consultation with the I-Corps Cognizant Program Directors and the National Teaching Team; Should the decision be to move the effort forward, the team must create a plan going forward.

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