Iowa State’s I-Corps Program

Iowa State’s I-Corps Program — Part Of The Great Lakes I-Corps Hub

What Is I-Corps?

The National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program is an initiative to transition NSF-funded research from the laboratory to a product in the marketplace.

I-Corps Sites act as a training ground for faculty, postdoctoral, graduate and undergraduate students to learn how to increase the impact of their research by exploring the commercial potential of their research and technology.

Iowa State’s I-Corps Site

Iowa State became an I-Corps Site in fall 2017. The program is a collaboration between the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations.

Iowa State’s I-Corps Site program aims to embed a stronger and more pervasive culture of entrepreneurship and innovation across the entire campus community. The ISU I-Corps Site focuses on translating discoveries that reflect its strengths in engineering, biorenewables, materials science and agriculture, food and nutrition, and veterinary medicine.

The program enhances entrepreneurship and innovation already happening across campus, fosters connections with other Midwest I-Corps Sites, and helps strengthen the nation’s innovation fabric.

The four-week curriculum focuses on customer discovery to support the transition of ideas, devices, processes, or intellectual activities into the marketplace. This can be realized through the formation of new start-up businesses, licensing agreements, or identifying funding sources to support additional research.

How To Apply

To apply to participate in the ISU I-Corps Site program, please complete the online application.  Team structure for participation is flexible, but teams typically consist of:

  • Entrepreneurial lead: Graduate student or post-doc
  • Academic lead: Faculty member or other qualified scientist
  • Mentor: Experienced or emerging entrepreneur

In addition to offering industry exposure and entrepreneurial training for participating teams, the ISU I-Corps program will provide advice, resources, networking opportunities, and infrastructure for exploring commercialization opportunities, as well as connections to resources and programming available through the regional Great Lakes I-Corps Hub and the local innovation ecosystem.

Teams that complete the I-Corps program are eligible to receive minigrants to support continued customer discovery and/or prototyping efforts to advance their innovations towards commercialization. The application for minigrant funds is available here.

Additional questions? Contact

ISU Site Team


I-Corps Program Dates

Course Schedule – Fall 2023

  • October 18: Kickoff session (via Zoom)
  • Week of October 23: Office hours
  • November 1: Midpoint session (via Zoom)
  • Week of November 6: Office hours
  • November 15: Wrap up session (viz Zoom)

Please fill out this application and you will be contacted by program staff regarding acceptance. Questions can be directed to Kris Johansen at

Iowa State I-Corps In The News