The University of Tennessee (UT) still has a few slots available for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to test the commercial feasibility of their technology idea through an intensive three-week program that starts October 1.
The Fall Regional edition of the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps) program is open to individuals and teams of two to four people who have an early stage technology and are interested in building a business model based on customer discovery and the development of an appropriate value proposition.
“Participants do not have to be affiliated with UT or even have formally organized into a company,” says Shawn Carson, Lecturer in UT, Knoxville’s Haslam College of Business. He hopes to have between 12 and 15 teams participating. The application deadline is rapidly approaching. For more information and to apply, click here and select “University of Tennessee, Knoxville” in the pull-down menu.
The three-week event kicks-off at 9 a.m. October 1 at the UT Research Foundation (UTRF) Business Incubator with a series of program sessions. Then, the teams will conduct a series of interviews with prospective customers to identify their needs and meet with mentors from the instructional team during virtual office hours. The program wraps up on October 22 when participants reconvene to share what they have learned.
The program is a joint effort of the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Haslam College and UTRF. Carson and UTRF Vice President Maha Krishnamurthy are the instructors.
The NSF I-Corps program was established in 2011 to help scientists and engineers think beyond the laboratory and identify opportunities for translating research into commercial products that can benefit society. Hundreds of teams from across the country have participated in the national program. Teams that successfully complete the program are awarded $50,000.
UT is a partner in I-Corps South, whose members include the Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, and University of Alabama at Birmingham.