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National Science Foundation
I-Corp - NSF Innovation Corps

Lessons Learned From I-Corps Participants

This summary of lessons learned is based on feedback from early I-Corps Team cohorts:

  • The team makeup is an essential element of success.
  • In successful projects the PI and entrepreneurial lead worked as a team together with shared responsibilities.
  • Projects that failed had the PI as the "boss" and the entrepreneurial lead as the "gopher."
  • Teams that come in with a "point of view" on where the technology developed from the research can be deployed make more progress (platform technologies looking for applications make less progress).
  • Successful Mentors become masters of the customer development and business model canvas approach and keep the teams "on the path."
  • Effective mentors look for and address deviations or issues as they arise, calling on the instructors and NSF as needed.
  • If the team does not have the time to fully engage the process, the experience is difficult.

Watch these videos to find out what team members learned from participating in I-Corps.

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.