The BIO 2017 I-Corps Bio-Entrepreneurship Workshop involved participants from universities across the US and teaching team members from partnered National Innovation Network sites and nodes. It was supported by an Inclusive Entrepreneurship supplemental award from NSF and sponsorship from the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

The BIO 2017 I-Corps™ Bio-Entrepreneurship Workshop wrapped up on June 21, 2017.

The final workshop report (link here) outlines activities and outcomes of the workshop.  The CSU I-Corps Teaching Team is thankful for the experience working with this cohort of new National Innovation Network members!  We also need to thank NSF and BIO for their support for the workshop.

2017 (Inaugural) Workshop Participants:

Marina Ascunce (University of Florida)
Diana Bogorodskaya (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
Victoria Caban-Figueroa (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Rocio Cardona (University of Puerto Rico, Bayamon)
Patrick Carriere (Morehouse School of Medicine)
Alisha Coffey (University of North Carolina)
Michael Conward (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
Serj Danielian (UC Riverside)
Benem-Orom Davids (Meharry Medical College)
Jason Dragoni-Rosado (Interamerican University of Puerto Rico)
Ronise Evans (Xavier University of Louisiana)
Angel Flores (University of Georgia)
Mery Vet George De la Rosa (University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus)
Guillermo Gerona-Navarro (Brooklyn College of CUNY)
Clara Isaza (Ponce Health Sciences University)
Marketta Kachemov (University of California, Irvine)
Ninad Kothari (University of California, Riverside)
Gabrielle Lopez (Miami University)
Ivonne Maldonado (University of Turabo)
Melanie Mendez (UC Merced)
Debashree Mukherjea (SIU School of Medicine)
Ian Saunders (Morehouse School of Medicine)
Donte Stevens (University of North Carolina)
Bianca Valdes Fernandez (University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras)

What: A 3-day I-Corps™ Bio-Entrepreneurship Workshop, including BIO 2017 exhibition access

Who: Early-career life science researchers from groups underrepresented in biotechnology research organizations. Undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and assistant professors from universities and colleges nationwide are eligible.

When: June 19-21, 2017 (Monday – Wednesday)

Where: San Diego, California

How: NSF will cover participants’ travel to and from San Diego, as well as lodging and meals at San Diego State University during the workshop.

Why: Work with industry professionals to learn about biotechnology commercialization, grow your professional network, and explore entrepreneurial opportunities that build on basic research. All workshop participants will work on teams with industry mentors.

Workshop Learning Objectives: 25 workshop participants will

  • 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 2017 exhibition
  • Learn how to maximize efficiency in learning and networking in a conference environment
  • Learn about life sciences commercialization


The I-Corps Bio-entrepreneurship workshop will start early Monday morning, June 19, 2017, and last through late-afternoon Wednesday, June 21, 2017.  The workshop will run in parallel to the Biotechnology International Convention (BIO 2017), one of the world’s largest gathering of biotechnology industry professionals.

Participants will work with industry professionals to learn about biotechnology commercialization, grow professional networks, and explore entrepreneurial opportunities that build on basic research. All workshop participants will work in teams with industry professionals.

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 2017 I-Corps Bio-Entrepreneurship workshop will embrace I-Corps’ principles of customer discovery. All participants will interview industry experts gathered in San Diego at BIO 2017. 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. The workshop will require full-time teamwork, leaving very little time to explore San Diego, attend other BIO 2017 sessions, or sit on the beach!

The National Science Foundation (NSF)  I-Corps™ program will provide funding to cover participants’ travel to and from San Diego, as well as lodging and meals at San Diego State University – a short trolley ride from the San Diego Convention Center where BIO 2017 will be held.


We are no longer accepting applications; the deadline was May 1st and the Workshop is past.

Eligibility:  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. The workshop is open to curious researchers and nascent academic entrepreneurs from universities nationwide.

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 mid-May so that workshop participants can make travel arrangements.  Applicants will be notified of selection decisions by email.

Applicants do NOT need previous commercialization experience, a developed venture concept, or any intellectual property in hand. This workshop is designed specifically for curious researchers and nascent academic entrepreneurs. The workshop will be based on infectious disease-related 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 (filed provisional patent application, licensed IP, received SBIR funding, etc.); we suggest they 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 CSU I-Corps ( or call the CSUPERB program office (619-594-2822).



ABRCMS (American Society for Microbiology), Biocom Institute, California Life Sciences Institute, CSU I-Corps™ and The EE Just Life Sciences Society have partnered for the first time to offer a Bio-Entrepreneurship Workshop during the Biotechnology International Conference (BIO 2017) in San Diego, California.  This pilot workshop is funded by an Inclusive Entrepreneurship supplemental award from the National Science Foundation and supported by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

Have questions? Call the CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (619-594-2822) or email us at