Introduction to I-Corps
The MD Anderson I-Corps Regional Program is an experiential-based program for entrepreneurs seeking to understand the potential for their idea, research, or technology. The program enable participants to understand the business model and product-market fit in order to improve the success rates of translating their technology to the marketplace. The I-Corps Program is now the premier federally funded innovation and commercialization program in the US, with over 100+ leading academic research institutions participating as Node Partners or Sites in the National Innovation Network. Created by NSF and adopted by the NIH, I-Corps has been adopted by a number of federal agencies as the model of innovation.
At its core, the I-Corps program accomplishes three things:
- Establishes a core commercialization discovery team around a new idea or innovative technology
- Provides a method to rapidly and inexpensively test their hypothesis and fine-tune their technology so ultimately it is more likely to succeed, more likely to match what the market wants or needs.
- Develops a clear and more concise translational pathway, with a greater chance of development and the funding necessary to commercialize the technology to the bedside.
The I-Corps Regional Program consists of a one-day introductory workshop and a six-week Regional Cohort Program with selected academic teams. The one-day workshop covers relevant topics and skills, including:
- Lean Principles around Commercialization
- Developing and Testing Value Propositions
- Business Model Canvas
- Process Improving SBIR/STTR Success Rates
For the Regional Cohort Program, academic teams are selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants from MD Anderson, UT system schools, and other institutions across the Texas Medical Center. Each three-person team will participate in a three-day launch session, four Web-ex sessions, and a two-day closing session at MD Anderson. The program will apply lessons learned during the preparatory workshop and opening session to conduct discovery interviews and prepare for the national I-Corps cohorts at NSF and NIH.
MD Anderson supports the National I-Corps program by preparing teams for selection to the NSF’s national cohorts held across the country each year. Over 1,400 academic teams have completed the program since 2011 with each being awarded $50,000 to support their customer discovery activities and participation in the program. CEA can provide certification and NSF-funding lineage for teams who have successfully completed the regional program and will assist in the submission and preparation for the national program selection process.
For more information on the National I-Corps programs:
- NSF National I-Corps Program
- NIH National I-Corps Program (requires NIH SBIR Phase I Award)
MD Anderson has joined four leading research institutions in Texas as part of the NSF-funded Southwest I-Corps Node. SWICORPS supports and connects young scientists, leading faculty and the greater business community across the Texas and Southwest region in testing their funded research for potential commercial applications through national and regional I-Corps programming.