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NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Sites are NSF-funded entities established at universities whose purpose is to nurture and support multiple, local teams to transition their technology concepts into the marketplace. Sites provide infrastructure, advice, resources, networking opportunities, training and modest funding to enable groups to transition their work into the marketplace or into becoming I-Corps Team applicants. I-Corps Sites also strengthen innovation locally and regionally and contribute to the National Innovation Network of mentors, researchers, entrepreneurs and investors.

This I-Corps Site at Arizona State University (ASU) combines resources, infrastructure, and training to support multiple, local teams across the four ASU campuses to advance technology concepts into the marketplace. It supports ASU's Startup Mill project, focused on building the innovation capacity of ASU, while contributing to the regional and national economy through technology commercialization and the development of the next generation of innovators.

ASU's I-Corps Site is a university wide initiative - a collaborative partnership among the ASU colleges and institutes, the technology transfer office and the external entrepreneurial ecosystem - to provide training, coaching, and financial support necessary to catalyze faculty and student efforts for transitioning university research into the marketplace, and into becoming successful I-Corps Teams.

Foci of this I-Corps Site is on:

Entrepreneurial training: ASU I-Corps Site synergizes existing resources and services to deliver I-Corps training and support services that embed the customer-development focused Lean LaunchPad (LLP) curriculum.

Regional infrastructure: ASU I-Corps Site leverages the regional network in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area to support startups, including existing entrepreneurs and Executives-in-Residence, a mentor network, regional and university angel groups, and relationships with investors.

The ASU I-Corps Site provides an opportunity to advance the innovation capacity of university faculty, students, and researchers through formal training, practice, and repeated exposure to an entrepreneurship program. By disseminating, internalizing, and executing the NSF I-Corps Site program over the course of the 3-year funding period, the ASU Startup Mill contributes to the culture transformation of ASU to include an embedded commercialization perspective. In addition, the implementation of the I-Corps Site program includes systematic evaluation of opportunities to adapt and augment the I-Corps model such that it promotes the inclusion and recruitment of underrepresented populations. Specifically, ASU focuses on inclusion and recruitment of veterans, Latino, and women participants in the program.


National Science Foundation, Division of Industrial Innovation & Partnership


May 2016 — April 2019