Each I-Corps cohort runs for nine weeks. During this time, participants are expected to dedicate an average of 4-5 hours per week to the program activities and requirements.
The I-Corps training is focused on the idea that potential customers hold the answers to the challenges facing each team and that the more time spent in engagement with the actual market, the more informed the teams will be on how to move forward. Participants are expected to make contact with potential customers each week using real-time interactions instead of digital surveys, and share the feedback they receive in subsequent classes. The teams are pushed to discover what aspects of their innovation are highly valued by the market and what they’d have to do to meet those expectations. I-Corps is not designed to confirm to what the teams believe to be true about their innovation, rather to challenge the core ideas they have with real feedback from relevant people. It would be very unusual for their innovation to survive the process fundamentally unchanged. Rather, the innovations evolve to be executed and delivered in a way the market actually wants.
Engagement with Classmates:
Another fundamental aspect of the I-Corps training is the engagement the teams get with the other participants. For much of the class time, the teams are sharing with the class what they’ve learned from week to week and exploring what the latest customer feedback means for their idea. Feedback from other classmates is critical to accelerating learning.
Attend Six Classroom Sessions:
Each member of an I-Corps team needs to attend six training session. These sessions consist of lectures, and team presentations. These sessions are also a time for the teams to engage with fellow classmates, share progress, seek advice from the whole group, and network with speakers and mentors. The full team should attend every class whenever possible. The UNHInnovation training room, where the training sessions are held, is a fully equipt zoom room if any team members need to attend a session remotely.
Participants will be expected to make contact with potential customers each week and share the feedback they receive in subsequent classes, aiming for a total of at least 25 customers by the end of the course. Teams who conduct more interviews are more successful in truly understanding their target market. Electronic surveys don’t count; real-time interactions are much more valuable and useful. All participants will be trained and learn best practices for how to conduct stakeholder interviews as part of the I-Corps program.
- Explore real-world impact of your research and technology
- Enable teams to transition work to the marketplace
- Transfer knowledge into beneficial products and processes
- May lead to the commercialization of technology
- Understand barriers to adoption of technology and processes
- Increased probability of grant success
- Validate research ideas
- Increase your visibility in your research area
- Enable supporting data and information for future grant proposals
- Unlock eligibility for team participation in the National i-Corps Teams program for up to $50K funding
- Contribute to NH’s innovation ecosystem