*On the I-Corps application – please choose “University of Tennessee, Knoxville” from the “Regional you are interested in” drop-down menu on the top right.


Knoxville, Tenn.— Applications are now being accepted for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Spring Regional to be held at the University of Tennessee (UT) from April 5 – 19, 2018. This intensive two-week program is designed by I-Corps South to help individuals who are interested in commercializing their research. Participation in NSF I-Corps has been shown to increase the success rate in being awarded an SBIR grant.

Teams of 2-4 people are invited to fill out an application, found at http://icorpssouth.com/regional-cohorts/apply-now/ for the opportunity to participate in the Spring Regional. Potential applicants must be located in the Southeast. University-based teams are preferred, though not required. The application period is open now through March 29, 2018.  Instructors for the program include Shawn Carson, UT Haslam College of Business Lecturer; Maha Krishnamurthy, Vice President of the University of Tennessee Research Foundation; and an instructor from I-Corps National.

The Spring Regional kicks-off April 5 with a workshop at Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus. The curriculum will cover the customer discovery process, developing a value proposition, and creating a business thesis. For the next two weeks, teams will conduct a series of interviews with prospective customers to identify their needs and meet with instructors during virtual office hours. The program wraps up on April 19 when participants reconvene to share what they have learned.

The NSF I-Corps program was established in 2011 to help scientists and engineers to think beyond the laboratory and identify opportunities for translating research into commercial products that benefit society. Teams that perform well in a regional cohort may be recommended for a national program and if accepted are eligible to receive a $50,000 grant. Hundreds of teams from across the country have participated in the national program.

UT is a partner in I-Corps South, whose members include the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

UT’s I-Corps South is co-sponsored by UT Haslam College of Business and the University of Tennessee Research Foundation.

About the Haslam College of Business

The Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, founded in 1914, consists of approximately 5,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Its six departments, seven centers and institutes, four forums and graduate and executive education programs reach across the for-profit, not-for-profit and governmental sectors of business, with a heavy emphasis on practical research. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, was founded in 1794 and was designated Tennessee’s land-grant institution in 1879.

About the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF)

UTRF helps inventors at the University of Tennessee turn their ideas and discoveries into products and services that benefit society. In addition to supporting the university research enterprise and commercializing the resulting innovations, UTRF also supports entrepreneurship as well as state and regional economic development efforts. UTRF serves all seven of the University of Tennessee campuses and institutes across the state. For more information, visit https://utrf.tennessee.edu.

Related NSF I-Corps posts:

The University of Tennessee Joins NSF Innovation Corps Program
Ideas to Market: UT Will Host Tech Company How-to
NSF I-Corps Kickoff at the University of Tennessee
NSF I-Corps Wraps up at the University of Tennessee