I-Corps Site: New Jersey Institute Of Technology

Project: Research project

Project Details


This is a proposal to create an I-Corps Site at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. National Science Foundation Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Sites are National Science Foundation -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.

NJIT's I-Corps Site will enhance the quantity and quality of commercializable student and faculty research projects while complementing the existing innovation and entrepreneurship activities at the institution. The Site funding will catalyze and accelerate faculty and student efforts to commercialize original research and new technologies by providing financial support for prototypes and customer engagement. Lean Startup training will help teams discover their potential customers and product-market fit.

NJIT's support for entrepreneurs has four main anchors: the Enterprise Development Center, a 100,000-sq.-foot high technology and life sciences business incubator; the newly established NJ Innovation Institute; the NJ Innovation Acceleration Center, an initiative of School of Management and the Office of Technology Development; and the NJIT Undergraduate Research and Innovation initiative where students form interdisciplinary teams and participate in experiential research activities that can solve societal problems. An National Science Foundation I-Corps Site at NJIT will help bridge one of the roadblocks to the commercialization of research by providing funds for the development of risky early-stage prototypes. Faculty/Student teams seeking financial support will be required to participate in Lean Startup training and entrepreneurial networking that will help them to transition from researchers to potential innovators and entrepreneurs.

An National Science Foundation I-Corps Site at NJIT will establish a robust pathway to market for original research and new technologies by cross-fertilizing academic, entrepreneurial, and corporate participation. The grant will further enhance NJIT's relationship with the entrepreneurial and corporate communities as we bring community members onto campus as mentors for the I-Corps Site teams.

An I-Corps Site at NJIT will create pathway for underrepresented teams to participate in the National Science Foundation I-Corps program and support the mission of promoting science and technology to advance the national health. By combining academic research activities with commercialization activities, the I-Corp Site at NJIT will foster experiential teaching, training, and learning for students and faculty. Students and faculty who learn to discover the path to commercialization will be able to view research discoveries with greater understanding.

The Kauffman Foundation has recognized that minorities are underrepresented among entrepreneurs. All entrepreneurs face resource constraints but the barriers to entrepreneurship may be insurmountable for economically disadvantaged students and students who don't have a strong network from which to derive resources. An National Science Foundation I-Corp Site at NJIT will draw students from one of the most diverse campuses within the US and will provide early stage funding to women, minorities, and economically disadvantaged participants on a meritocratic basis.

Leveling the playing field will broaden participation from underrepresented groups and create a new class of technology entrepreneurs and will benefit society by helping to move ideas out of academic silos. Nearly all net new job growth in the US has come from the formation of new companies and the subset of new companies that have grown most rapidly has been technology-based companies, the sorts of technology startups that would be fostered at NJIT.
Effective start/end date3/15/152/28/18


  • National Science Foundation


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