Cohort 2 CSU I-Corps Participants and Teaching Team after Final Lessons Learned Presentations (June 27, 2015 at San Diego State University)

“We believe that a much more efficient commercialization process recognizes that 1) there needs to be a separate, parallel path to validate the commercial hypotheses and 2) the answers to the key commercialization questions are outside the lab and cannot be done by proxies.” – STEVE BLANK

The Spring 2015 Faculty-led I-Corps™ Teams cohort has now completed its customer discovery and value proposition design work.

Cohort #2 (Spring 2015) Teams:

  • CellulAY (San Diego State University). Our targeted cell-based assay technology helps companies who want to enhance screening capabilities by providing novel approaches for hit identification and target validation by reducing the cost and time required for the early stages of drug discovery. Roland Wolkowicz – PI, Cameron Smurthwaite – EL, Stewart Noble – IM
  • Eros (San Jose State University). Our medical device helps doctors determine whether a prostate cancer patient should undergo active surveillance by reducing the ambiguity of prostate cancer severity and knowing the likelihood of increased cancer aggressiveness. Folarin Erogbogbo – PI, Diana Valenzuela Medina – EL, Seth Michelson – IM.
  • Hornet Ventures (CSU Sacramento). Our assistive device helps tremor patients who want to perform many essential daily living activities by suppressing hand tremor in a 3D space and enabling a wide variety of physical tasks without the need for invasive surgeries or medications. Aki Kumagai – PI, Gary Jaffe – EL, Jeff Briggs – IM
  • ProPopulate (San Diego State University). Our probiotic formulations helps health-conscious consumers who want to improve their gastrointestinal health by reducing incidence of gastrointestinal upset and increases the feeling of health and well being. Forest Rowher – PI, Jeremy Barr – EL, Mark Surber – IM

CSU I-Corps™ is funded by the National Science Foundation to help scientists and engineers to learn how to identify useful or valuable product concepts based on ideas derived from academic research.  CSU I-Corps™ puts curious researchers and nascent entrepreneurs directly in touch with customers, potential partners and industry advisors to better assess their biotechnology idea’s maturity, product-IMG_0142market fit, and follow-on funding strategies.

The Spring 2015 CSU I-Corps curriculum can be viewed here.

On June 27, 2015, cohort #2 gave final Lessons Learned presentations to a panel of biotechnology industry experts. After the talks teams met with the experts to consult on their current business model canvas, their biotechnology’s maturity and their team’s investment IMG_0146readiness.  The ultimate goal of CSU I-Corps is a “Go/No-Go” decision based on feedback from industry mentors, customer discovery activities and final panel evaluations.  A “Go” decision suggests teams are ready to move on to the “national” I-Corps Teams program or to seek funding from other grant programs or raise early stage capital.  A “No Go” decision suggests the team should go back to lab and develop the technology further, invest resources or establish collaborations to get more proof-of-concept data, or pivot to another product design based on market feedback.

You can get an inside perspective on the  follow-on,”national” I-Corps Team program from Manmeet Singh and Warren Smith (CSU Sacramento) here.

Cohort #2 Final Evaluation Panelists: Ina Deras (Illumina), Bruce Fleming (San Diego Assistive Technology Center), Gary Fujii (Molecular GPS Technologies), Richard Lin (Explora BioLabs) and John Rodenrys (Leading Ventures, Inc.). Biographies are available here.


Please email csuicorps@mail.sdsu.edu or call the program office (619-594-2822) if you have questions about this program.