What are the eligibility requirements?
For more detailed requirements, please refer to the eligibility section in the FOA PA-19-029.
Who would be a good industry expert?
A good industry expert is someone with the right industry contacts in your area of commercialization. She or he should be an entrepreneur familiar with your small business and experienced in bringing technologies to the marketplace. This could be someone who has an established relationship with the company, like a board member, or this person may be selected as a third-party resource. Ideally, the industry expert should have prior experience in the development and commercialization of other products that are in the same space as your technology.
How do we find our industry expert?
Teams can source the industry expert internally (business development manager, board member, etc.) or externally, like a consultant or mentor with the National Innovation Network. Also take advantage of your regional network through the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network and SCORE chapter.
Is there flexibility in how the three required roles are filled on the I-Corps team?
Yes. For example, if the PD/PI is also the CEO, then you can select a different senior level scientist to serve in the PD/PI role. You may choose to have an alternate C-level corporate officer to lead the team. All teams should include three members and should be led by someone with decision-making authority within the company. We will not accept teams unless they meet the three-member team requirement (no more, no less).
Is I-Corps only for new companies and/or teams with little commercialization experience?
Not necessarily. Teams with limited commercialization experience may benefit the most, but all teams will take away valuable lessons, as well as specific insights about their particular technology or innovation.
What is the application timeline?
Applications for Cohort 1 of the 2020 I-Corps at NIH must be received by October 22, 2019, 5:00 p.m. your local time.
If we’re rewarded the grant, how much funding will my business receive?
Teams that have been accepted will receive up to $55,000 in funding. This grant will only cover I-Corps program direct costs.
How long is the program?
The I-Corps program lasts approximately 8 weeks.
What are the 2019 I-Corps program dates?
February 24-27, 2020 — Course kickoff, location TBD
April 14-15, 2020 — Course closing workshop/“Final Lessons Learned”
What are the mandatory program activities?
All team members must attend a 3-day immersion “kickoff” workshop and a 2-day closing workshop (location TBD in the United States). During these workshops, team members will give presentations and participate in lectures and training sessions. Team members must participate in weekly webinar sessions and must conduct at least 100 total discovery interviews with potential customers, strategic partners, and other third-party stakeholders. At the end of the program, teams will present their “Final Lessons Learned.”
Will my Intellectual Property (IP) rights be protected when I discuss my ideas with the class?
I-Corps workshops do not require that you share the specifics of your IP. However, you will be sharing with the class what you learned on a weekly basis about reimbursement, regulation, customers, partners, etc. All of your presentations, customer discovery and validation notes, and your business model canvas will be shared with the teaching team. If you have specific legal questions, you should consult an IP attorney.
If you have any additional questions, please contact the program director at your awarding NIH/CDC institute, or send us an email.