In May 2014 CSUPERB received a 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-CorpsTM) Site program to fund microgrants to and entrepreneurship education for CSU students and faculty. What is I-Corps? Here is the 30 second soundbite.
CSU I-CORPS MICROGRANT DESCRIPTION:
CSU student and faculty researchers who have biological sciences, research-based product, service or process ideas are eligible for $2500 microgrants. Site team ideas or projects can originate from student or faculty research (funded or unfunded) or campus projects. Researchers do not need to be funded by NSF to participate in CSU I-Corps programs.
Microgrants can be used to consult with mentors, to attend industry meetings to meet and interview experts and potential customers or partners, to fabricate prototypes, and/or to buy research materials and supplies for proof-of-concept work. The microgrant program allows curious researchers and nascent entrepreneurs to get feedback from customers and advisors to better assess their biotechnology idea’s maturity, product-market fit, and follow-on funding strategies.
- CSU I-Corps microgrants will be awarded for a three-month period to CSU teams.
- Teams must have access to and freedom to operate with the underlying biotechnology.
- CSUPERB can make up to 30 CSU I-Corps microgrants annually.
The entrepreneurial experience gained will set teams up for success in federal SBIR/STTR grant and VentureWell E-Team applications, as well as incubator and accelerator on-ramping. Specifically, CSU I-Corps webinars and activities will prepare teams to apply for the NSF I-Corps Teams program. I-Corps Team grants ($50,000) allow recipients to further develop commercialization pathways and formulate proof-of-concept work, as well as participate in the national I-Corps curriculum.