I-Corps Bio-Entrepreneurship Workshop

The United Negro College Fund, the National Science Foundation, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the Ernest E. Just Institute for the Life Sciences, AUTM, University of New Hampshire I-Corps, CSU I-Corps, MIT I-Corps, and Penn I-Corps have partnered to offer a Bio-Entrepreneurship Workshop during the Biotechnology International Conference (BIO 2019; convention.bio.org) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania June 2-5, 2019.

The application deadline has passed.


A 3-day I-Corps Bio-Entrepreneurship Workshop, including BIO International Convention exhibition access. Work on teams with industry mentors to learn about biotechnology commercialization, grow your professional network, and explore entrepreneurial opportunities that build on basic research.


Early-career life science researchers from groups underrepresented in biotechnology research organizations. Research-active undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and assistant professors from universities and colleges nationwide are eligible to participate. Researchers from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and minority-serving institutions are especially encouraged to apply.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Campus of University of Pennsylvania and BIO International Convention)


June 2-5, 2018 (Sunday evening reception + three full days Monday – Wednesday)

Event Schedule

  • Sunday, June 2: Arrive in Philadelphia, attend optional evening reception
  • Monday, June 3: All-day workshop 
  • Tuesday, June 4: Morning training, Afternoon at BIO 2019
  • Wednesday, June 5: Morning at BIO 2019, Afternoon Report-Out and De-Briefing.

Participant expenses, including travel, lodging, meals, and transportation will be covered by the program.


  • Experience working in diverse teams to identify and solve problems
  • Understand evidence-based entrepreneurship as taught by NSF I-Corps nodes and sites nationwide
  • Apply evidence-based entrepreneurship concepts via customer discovery at the BIO 2019 exhibition
  • Learn how to maximize efficiency in learning and networking in a conference environment
  • Learn about life sciences commercialization

How to Apply

The application deadline has passed.


If you have questions about the workshop, contact Marc Sedam (marc.sedam@unh.edu; 919-923-5120) or Susan Baxter (sbaxter@sdsu.edu; 619-594-2822).

Workshop Details

The 3-day I-Corps Bio-entrepreneurship workshop will start early Monday morning, June 3, 2019, and ends late Wednesday afternoon, June 5, 2019. The workshop will run in parallel to the Biotechnology International Convention (BIO 2019), one of the world’s largest gathering of biotechnology industry professionals. The workshop will consist of training sessions and practice on the BIO 2019 exhibition floor. Participants will work on teams with industry professionals to learn about biotechnology commercialization, grow professional networks, and explore entrepreneurial opportunities that build on basic research.

NSF describes I-Corps as “a set of activities and programs to prepare scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and broadens the impact of…basic-research projects.” The 2019 I-Corps Bio-Entrepreneurship workshop will embrace I-Corps’ principles of customer discovery. All participants will interview industry experts gathered in Philadelphia at BIO 2019. All I-Corps courses create entrepreneurial experiences “with all the pressures and demands of the real world” – so expect a participatory, fast-paced, high-energy workshop that requires full-time teamwork! 

Past BIO I-Corps workshop participants say:

  • “Be prepared for an intense 3-day workshop that will change your life.”
  • “I would advise reading as you can on [I-Corps] before you arrive, although nothing is going to completely prepare you for what you are about to encounter over the next 3 days…”
  • “Be ready to work through frustrations, have an open mind, and network as much as possible!”
  • “Be prepared for the most intense but rewarding days of learning and new experiences.”

The National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps program will provide funding to cover participants’ travel to and from Philadelphia, as well as lodging at University of Pennsylvania – a short ride from the Pennsylvania Convention Center where BIO 2019 will be held.

Application Details

The application deadline has passed.


The workshop is open to early-career life science researchers from groups underrepresented in biotechnology degree programs and research organizations. Assistant professors, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduates are eligible to participate. Undergraduate applicants must email letters of support from their research mentors by the application deadline; send to csuperb@sdsu.edu. The workshop is open to curious researchers and nascent academic entrepreneurs from universities nationwide. We welcome and encourage applications from faculty and students in all disciplines related to the current practice of biotechnology, including but not limited to life sciences, physical sciences, clinical sciences, math, computer science, agricultural science, and engineering.

Selection Criteria

Participants will be selected by the organizers based on a complete online application received by the deadline, the applicants’ research background, lack of previous technology transfer training, and a desire to learn about biotechnology commercialization. Selection decisions will be made by the end of April so that workshop participants can make travel arrangements. Applicants will be notified of selection decisions via email.

Applicants do NOT need previous commercialization experience, a developed venture concept, or any intellectual property (IP) in hand. This workshop is designed specifically for curious researchers and nascent academic entrepreneurs. The workshop will be based on problems supplied by the organizers, not ideas provided by the participants. This workshop will not be useful to researchers who already have started down a commercialization pathway (attended other I-Corps workshops or courses, filed provisional patent application, licensed IP, received SBIR funding, etc.); if this is your case, we suggest you apply for courses offered by I-Corps Sites and Nodes nationwide instead.

If you have questions about the workshop or the application and selection process, contact Marc Sedam (marc.sedam@unh.edu; 919-923-5120) or Susan Baxter (sbaxter@sdsu.edu; 619-594-2822).

Sponsors and Organizers

The BIO 2019 I-Corps Bio-entrepreneurship workshop is funded with generous support from the Genentech Foundation, The United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the Ernest E. Just Institute for the Life Sciences, the National Science Foundation, AUTM, and BIO. The 2019 organizing committee is a collaboration among members from the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Biocom InstituteCSU I-Corps™University of New Hampshire I-CorpsMIT I-CorpsPenn I-CorpsNJIT I-Corps,  and Drexel University.  The workshop moves around the country with the BIO convention, currently rotating between Boston, Philadelphia, and San Diego.

2019 Workshop

The 2019 I-Corps Bio-Entrepreneurship Workshop will be held on June 2-5, 2019. 


If you have questions or need additional information, please contact: