Frequently Asked Questions

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There are several reasons to apply and participate. The most important is to gain valuable exposure to NSF’s approach to early steps in research commercialization and startup development. It will also add new capabilities and perspective to enhance competitiveness and open the door to additional funding:

  • Gain professional development experience for work in academia, industry, and startups.
  • Learn about potential customer interests and needs.
  • Broaden the impacts of NSF funded proposals and grants.
  • Become more competitive for translational research funding that requires insights into or evidence of customer needs.
  • Prepare for national NSF I-Corps Teams project ($50K over 6 months)
  • Improve the odds of NSF SBIR success.

Faculty, students, postdoctoral fellows, and recent alumni. More specifically:

  • Faculty and students working within an area normally supported by the NSF who are interested in applying their research technology.
  • Volunteers from industry with experience in entrepreneurship and technology commercialization who are interested in mentoring teams while learning the I-Corps approach.

Before you apply:

  • Identify a project focus based on ideas and technologies within an area normally supported by the NSF. It can be based on student work, faculty-led research (funded or unfunded), and institutional or industrial projects. Intellectual property may be owned by either the university or the team.
  • Form a team including an Entrepreneurial Lead (typically a student or postdoctoral fellow), a Technical Lead (typically a faculty member familiar with the technology), and an I-Corps Team Mentor (typically someone close by with experience transitioning technology out of academic labs, working in startups, or working in a relevant industry).

Note: A mentor is not required to apply; the I-Corps @ UMass Amherst team will help you to find one.

I-Corps @ UMass Amherst is available to help with team formation, defining the project, and finding a mentor.

The I-Corps @ UMass Amherst program is offered once per semester. Join our email list to receive notification of upcoming Warm-Ups and Jump-Starts.

Please email I-Corps @ UMass Site Director for any questions.

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