The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (N.C. A&T) have been awarded a five-year, $500,000 grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish Greensboro as an Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Site.
NSF I-Corps is a federally funded program that prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the university laboratory and accelerates the economic and societal benefits of research projects that are ready to move toward commercialization.
As a designated I-Corps Site, UNCG and N.C. A&T will provide students, faculty, staff and alumni with the education and resources needed to take their innovations to market. The new I-Corps Site is one of just a few sites in North Carolina.
“I am proud that UNCG was chosen amongst a competitive field to lead a Greensboro-based I-Corps site with N.C. A&T,” said Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. “This unique National Science Foundation initiative will foster innovation and collaboration among faculty, students and the greater Greensboro community, as we continue to develop a growing innovation ecosystem that will have real world impact.”
“North Carolina A&T has long realized the significant impact of the commercialization of research on the Piedmont Triad region,” said Chancellor Harold L. Martin, Sr. “This latest collaboration with the NSF and UNCG will help scientists and engineers move their STEM-related discoveries to the marketplace. It is our expectation that these innovations will enhance the economic impact of our universities for North Carolina.”
I-Corps is based on the Lean Launchpad (LLP) Methodology, a compelling business model discovery strategy grounded in learning from potential customers. UNCG and N.C. A&T hope to train 30 entrepreneurial teams this year using the LLP Methodology, as well as provide opportunities for these teams to receive grants of up to $3,000 to fund their customer discovery process, prototyping and other seed expenses.