WMU hosts intensive program for entrepreneurs

This year, Western Michigan University became the fourth Michigan institute of higher education to offer entrepreneurs an intensive program to learn whether their project has commercial viability through the I-Corps program.

I-Corps is a National Science Foundation program created to foster entrepreneurship that will lead to the commercialization of technology. It's for early stage projects looking to assess a commercial opportunity.

NSF says the program works equally well for university researchers who are in the process of filing or have filed an invention disclosure (a confidential document written to determine whether patent protection should be sought for an invention) or companies looking to spin-out new technologies.

The I-Corps curriculum teaches what it takes to successfully transfer knowledge into products and processes that benefit society, in a real-world, hands on, immersive way.

An I-Corps team talks to industry customers and competitors and encounters "the chaos and uncertainty of creating successful innovations," says the WMU website that explains the program. "Getting out of the laboratory/university is what the effort is all about."

Team members must commit to in-depth preparation, attendance at the lectures, workshops and webex conference calls. A 15 to 20 hours per week commitment is expected in the Western Michigan University I-Corps program.

Five teams have been chosen to participate in the I-Corps session at WMU. The program kicked off May 20 and May 21. The teams will meet for the next six weeks and report their results June 22-23.

Source: Western Michigan University