The National Science Foundation (NSF) now seeks to promote the commercial development of NSF-sponsored technologies through the Innovation Corps (“I-Corps”) program.
NSF National I-Corps awards grants of $50,000, which are intended for business development activities like the creation of a prototype and visiting prospective customers. If your technology was funded by NSF, you can apply directly to that program. UH Technology Transfer can help you with this application and help you find the required business mentor for your team.
If your technology was not funded by NSF, the UH I-Corps Site, along with the Southwest I-Corps Node, occasionally offers a 12-day “mini-I-Corps” which can make your non-NSF technology eligible for the National I-Corps Program. This gives a condensed sample of the I-Corps curriculum, and is highly recommended for anyone starting their first company or applying for Gap Funding. This program also makes investigators more likely to be successful in applying for the national NSF I-Corps program and makes non-NSF technologies eligible for that program.