The National Science Foundation (NSF)’s I-Corps program is an accelerator that helps entrepreneurs and researchers work together “to bring invention to impact.” The program consists of both financial support and experiential education designed to fast-track the commercialization of scientific discoveries.
Mason serves as an official I-Corps site, supporting local grantees through the exploratory stages of venture-building, as well as preparing them to apply for the national-level program. The current site grantees are David J. Miller, director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the School of Business, and Ali Andalibi, senior associate dean of the College of Science.
I-Corps teams comprise of an entrepreneurial lead, typically a student or post-doc; an academic lead, usually a staff or faculty member; and a mentor, who can be a non-Mason affiliate. Participants are taught to treat their proposed business model as an experiment whose hypotheses must be rigorously tested before moving forward. They gather feedback from a battery of experienced industry professionals, immersing themselves in the ecosystem they plan to enter and emerging from each interview with quantifiable knowledge.
I-Corps is actively soliciting new applicants for 2022 and recently began an eight-month I-Corps Wearables Initiative at Mason. “From health and fitness, to industrial, defense and daily convenience, the wearables segment is growing with opportunities for researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Miller.
Read the complete article, "From Invention to Impact: I-Corps at Mason," featured on George Mason University's website.