University of Louisville National Science Foundation I-Corps Site

The University of Louisville (UofL) has partnered with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program to foster entrepreneurship and stimulate lab-based research into the business market.  The goal of the UofL I-Corps Site program is to integrate and leverage existing commercialization infrastructure and capabilities to establish a sustainable program for the discovery and commercialization of STEM innovations and stimulate regional economic development.  The UofL I-Corps Site program represents a joint collaboration between the Nucleus: Kentucky’s Innovation Center, the Louisville Metro Government, Greater Louisville, Inc. and Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation together with the UofL Office of Tech Transfer (OTT), Forcht Center for Entrepreneurship, Speed School of Engineering and College of Arts and Sciences.

This 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. The program partners innovative academic researchers and undergraduate/graduate students with entrepreneurial mentors to identify market opportunities for new technologies that benefit society and the economy.  Each team participates in the I-Corps curriculum, based on Stanford’s Lean LaunchPad process, via on-site training at UofL as well as online instruction at the Georgia Tech I-Corps Node (1 of 7 I-Corps Node locations).  Since its inception in 2011, I-Corps has trained 508 teams from which 261 new companies have emerged.

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.