• What is I-Corps@NCATS?

    The I-Corps@ NCATS program is a 5-week short course, based upon the successful National Science Foundation I-Corps and I-Corps at NIH Entrepreneurial Training Program, which combines business model training with a customer discovery process. The short course helps prepare teams to apply to go on to a national program at NSF or NIH, and is designed to help all participants, regardless of the stage of development of their innovation.

    The CCTS will enhance the process of scientific translation by taking the demonstrated lessons learned and best practices from the I-Corps@NCATS program and disseminating them across a wider network of Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Hubs.

    I-Corps@NCATS Program Expanded

    During the I-Corps@NCATS pilot program, the CCTS helped train 150 academic researchers organized into 62 teams, of which 9 went on to form companies to commercialize their discoveries. With a recently awarded (2020) additional supplement, the CCTS will be able to grow the reach of the national program, and can increase our impact 5-fold with a goal of reaching more than 1,200 academic researchers.

    Our goal is to improve the health of our communities by speeding up the process of moving new discoveries from our research labs into new treatments and cures for patients.  We do this by helping our academic researchers better understand the process for how to bring a new innovation to market and how to accelerate the process while reducing the risk that an innovation will fail.

    I-Corps Program Comparison

      NSF I-Corps National Program NIH I-Corps National Program I-Corps@NCATS Program
    Eligibility Active NSF Award within previous 5 year period in a scientific or engineering field related to the innovation or participation in an I-Corps Site or Regional Node Program.  Teams with funding from other agencies, like NIH, can apply if they have gone through local site or regional program. Businesses with an active NIH Phase 1 SBIR/STTR award Innovations in Life Sciences
    Length 7 weeks 8 weeks 5 weeks
    Funding $50,000 $55,000 None
    Team Composition 3 Members: Technical Lead, Entrepreneurial Lead, I-Corps Mentor 3 Members: C-level corporate officer, Phase 1 PI, Industry Expert Flexible
    Innovation Type Scientific or Engineering Innovations, with a focus on “deep technology” (including biomedical innovations) Life Sciences: therapeutics, biologics, diagnostics, devices, Health IT/Services Life Sciences: therapeutics, biologics, diagnostics, devices, Health IT/Services
    Learning Objectives Validated Business Model Canvas,
    100+ Customer Discovery Interviews
    Validated Business Model Canvas, focus on key activities and MVP within the context of biotech, 100+ Customer Discovery Interviews Validated Problem-Solution Fit focused on Customer Segments and Value Proposition the context of biotech, 30+ Customer Discovery Interviews
    Program Goals A clear go/no go decision, substantial first-hand evidence for or against product-market fit, a narrative of a compelling technology demonstration for potential partners. Businesses validate a comprehensive business model and are competitive for SBIR/STTR Phase 2 award Number of participants taking part, research commercialization plan that could include NSF or NIH National program


  • Why participate?

    • Learn how to “get out of the building” and talk to potential customers, partners, and competitors

    • Identify commercial potential for your technology

    • Experience the uncertainty and excitement of creating a startup

    • Receive eligibility to participate in the NSF I-Corps Teams Program


    • 2+ team members - consisting of an Entrepreneurial Lead (undergrad, grad, Ph.D. student who will move the project forward) and a Technical Lead (typically be a faculty member, senior research scientist or postdoctoral scholar with deep and direct technical expertise in the actual core technology about which the I-Corps team is exploring commercial potential)

    • Must be able to attend all six workshop dates

    • Have a tech innovation in any STEM-BioMed field and want to explore its commercialization potential

    • Willing to find and talk to at least 30 potential customers in five weeks

    • Interest in applying for the Nationals NSF I-Corps Teams program and $50,000 grant

  • The I-Corps@NCATS network is extending across the country, to thirteen additional, regionally-dispersed Clinical and Translational Awards (CTSA) Hubs. 

    Icorps@NCATS locations
  • Upcoming Program Opportunities

    Please contact the individuals listed below to learn more or participate in these programs, and continue to check back here for new program opportunities.







    Case Western

    2-6pm EST

    2-6pm EST

    2-6pm EST

    2-6pm EST

    Steve Fening
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    UC Davis Logo

    12-2pm PST

    9am-1pm PST

    9am-1pm PST

    9am-1pm PST

    Nick Kenyon
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     Typical Course Schedule

    Cohort Orientation – Zoom Meeting: 2 hours
    Kickoff – Zoom Meeting: 6 hours
    Office Hours -  Virtual Office Hours (scheduled with each team)
    Midpoint Presentations – Zoom Meeting: 3 hours
    Office Hours - Virtual Office Hours (scheduled with each team)
    Finale – Zoom Meeting: 4 hours

    Previous Programs

    Course Location 


    University of Miami

    September 2020