frequently asked questions

Anyone with an entrepreneurial mindset and a concept can apply.

However, to be able to pursue a National I-Corps training following a Regional Training, you will need to build a 3-5 member team consisting of a:  

  • Technical Lead

A faculty member who is the technology inventor and serves as principal investigator (PI), or a postdoctoral researcher who has expertise in the core technology area. 

  • Entrepreneurial Lead 

A graduate student or postdoctoral researcher who  leads the team and is committed to commercialization. 

  • Industry Mentor 

An industry expert with business/entrepreneurial experience who is independent from the technology development and team.

We are open to faculty and student teams based out of any higher education or research institution in the Great Plains. The Great Plains Regional Hub currently comprises of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana.

Applicants do not need to be affiliated with a university or hub member institution to participate in our Regional I-Corps programs. We do welcome non-traditional teams that are focused on commercialization of deep technologies and on a path to SBIR/STTR if there are spots.  

Our first preference is for teams based out of higher education institutions.   

However, the National I-Corps program is only open to teams whose intellectual property is owned by a higher education institution.

If you have a NSF research award for your technology, you are eligible to apply directly to the National Teams I-Corps program. If you do not have an NSF research award for your technology, you will need to attend a Local or Regional program before applying to the National program to receive a letter of recommendation.

We prefer that all team members can attend all the sessions, but if not all are able to, please identify at least one person on the team as the primary contact who can attend all the meetings. 

Serving as a mentor for the Great Plains I-Corps Hub is a great way to give back to the community and help further build our local entrepreneurial ecosystems in the Midwest.

To be a mentor for the Great Plains Regional I-Corps, you should be an experienced entrepreneur or corporate innovator comfortable working with early-stage, deep-tech teams. Mentors help the team recognize and reduce confirmation bias throughout the customer discovery process. They participate in all cohort activities, whether at the Regional, or National I-Corps level. 

If being a mentor sounds like the right fit for you, complete our Mentor Interest Form and someone from our team will reach out to you in three business days.

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