The Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Program fosters entrepreneurship and stimulates lab-based research into the business market.

The University of Louisville Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Site Program fosters entrepreneurship and stimulates lab-based research into the business market.

The program partners innovative UofL faculty, staff and students (undergraduate and graduate) with entrepreneurial mentors to identify market opportunities for new technologies that benefit society and the economy.

Support includes:

  • Advice and mentorship;
  • Networking opportunities;
  • Training in startup principles;
  • And funding.


Frequently Asked Questions

University of Louisville faculty, staff and students with an entrepreneurial interest, who want to take their lab research to the marketplace. The technologies must benefit society and the economy. Interested alumni should contact us first.

Projects can originate from student work, funded or unfunded research, or projects done with institutions or industry partners. Each project must focus on one of the science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) areas the National Science Foundation supports.

The UofL I-Corps site program can provide up to $2,500 in total funding to teams. This funding is typically for a period of six to twelve months.

Funding can be used for entrepreneurial training, prototype development; travel expenses for customer discovery; and other necessary resources that directly help get the project to the marketplace.

Teams interested in applying for support through the UofL I-Corps site program must submit a proposal that outlines:

  • Team background and history;
  • The project plan;
  • The problem and your solution;
  • Product/service concept and demonstration;
  • And the innovation’s potential commercial impact.

Proposals will be reviewed for factors including potential market impact and the time horizon until that impact occurs. For more information on applying for UofL I-Corps site support, contact the program team.

Each team participates in the seven-week I-Corps curriculum, based on Stanford’s Lean LaunchPad process. This training is conducted on-site at UofL through the LaunchIT program. NSF also hosts monthly webinars about the program.

Mentorship in the UofL I-Corps program focuses on:

  • Commercialization of team projects;
  • New start-up businesses development;
  • Licensing agreements;
  • How to create business plans suitable for review by third-party investors;
  • And how to make go/no-go decisions about commercialization, within six months of receiving support.

In 2013, NSF established the National Innovation Network™ (NIN), extending the reach of I-Corps into the developing community of grantees and increase the impact of the program. NIN connects I-Corps grantees to a national pipeline of mentors and collaborators that helps to provide state-of-the-art tools and resources needed for start-up success and commercialization.

This UofL I-Corps Site program assists scientists and engineers in extending their focus beyond the laboratory to increase the economic impact of selected NSF-funded research projects. Since its inception in 2011, the national I-Corps has trained hundreds of teams, who have created hundreds of new companies.

NSF I-Corps is a partnership that encourages entrepreneurship on both a local and national level. Currently, there are more than 80 active sites across the U.S.

Successful participation in the UofL I-Corps site program allows you to apply for the National program for access to these mentors and additional funding!