The Penn I-Corps Program teaches entrepreneurs how to test and validate their startup ideas by performing customer interviews; participants walk away with feedback from at least 20 potential customers. As such, it helps you develop a product/market fit strategy for your ideas. I-Corps is free to participants, and accepted teams receive grants of up to $2,000 for their startup. This short course meets five times over six weeks, starting on March 19. The program is restricted to Penn affiliated students, staff, researchers, or faculty with Penn-generated ideas and technologies originating in academic research.
Why Participate in I-Corps:
● Penn I-Corps can qualify you for participation in National NSF I-corps ($50k), which in turn entitles you to apply for an NSF PFI-TT (Partnerships for Innovation- Technology Translation) grant ($250k) and correlates with a high ratio of success in SBIR grant applications (~$1M)
● Participants do not need to have a full team upon signing up. We can help pair those with startup ideas with those who want to join a team, so you are not going through the process alone.
● By de-risking your idea, Penn I-Corps improves your chances for selection to the Penn Health-Tech Medical Devices and Health Technology Development programs.
● For Penn Faculty: Penn I-Corps enables you to pursue your technology development through your graduate students and post-docs. They can form a team with your backing. You can allocate $499 of the $2000 grant toward stipends for lab-personnel.
Apply Now: Space is limited; Penn I-corps evaluates teams on a first-come-first-serve basis. Applications are rolling, and we are currently accepting them. The final application deadline for the Spring is February 24, 2021.
If you are interested in learning more about I-Corps, come to one of our upcoming information sessions. Register here!
To date, Penn I-Corps trained 148 teams comprised of 373 individuals. The courses enabled teams to participate in valuable programs, such as YCombinator, DreamIt, Wharton Venture Initiation, and HAX hardware accelerator. Thus far, six companies are generating revenue and creating jobs. Thirty-four received $25 million in external funding and created 47 jobs in the Philadelphia area. The Penn President’s Innovation Prize was awarded for the past three years to I-Corps teams. Seven teams have participated in the National I-Corps program, and eight teams received SBIR/STTR grants.