UCF I-Corps Now Accepting Applications for Spring Cohort

Scientists and Engineers Interested in Taking Ideas Beyond the Lab are Encouraged to Apply

UCF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) – an accelerated program outlining the most important first steps in developing a business around research and ideas –is actively seeking scientists and engineers from universities and research centers from around the state.  I-Corps teams generally consist of an Entrepreneurial Lead (EL), Principal Investigator (PI) and Industry/I-Corps Mentor.   The 2016 recruitment schedule is as follows:

UCF I Corps Now Accepting Applications for Spring Cohort

Capacitech (Cohort 3) utilizes nanoscale materials to develop a coaxial cable with supercapacitors. Pictured from left to right: UCF PhD student Chao Li and undergraduate student Joe Sleppy (Entrepreneurial Team Leads); Dr. Jayan Thomas, UCF Nanoscience Technology Center (Academic Team Leader). Not pictured: Dr. Greg Howes, President & CEO of Treaty Consulting Group, (Team Mentor).

I-Corps – UCF Site Cohort 5

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 @10am – Application Deadline
Friday, May 13, 2016 – Start of UCF Site Cohort 5

I-Corps – UCF Site Cohort 6

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 @10am – Application Deadline
Friday, August 12, 2016 – Start of UCF Site Cohort 6

I-Corps – UCF Site Cohort 7

Friday, September 30, 2016 @10am – Application Deadline
Friday, October 14, 2016 – Start of UCF Site Cohort 7

The I-Corps program provides aspiring entrepreneurs with an immersive, hands-on curriculum designed to teach them how to test their ideas, gauge feasibility, understand consumer demand, examine competition and develop mutually beneficial partnerships to help transition their ideas into profitable enterprises. Experienced advisors and mentors oversee the teams and coach them toward success.

“I-Corps is designed to help student and faculty researchers turn their innovations into potential business opportunities using the proven National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps model,” says Kapono Curry, program director for UCF I-Corps. “The previous cohorts made excellent progress toward commercializing their ideas.  We look forward to seeing what the 2016 teams have to offer.”

In addition to the standard curriculum, Cohort 4 selectees have the opportunity to hear from teams, mentors and members of the teaching teams from past cohorts.  Once teams complete the UCF I-Corps program, the path to commercial market continues with opportunities for funding in NSF’s national
I-Corps program and SBIR/STTR grant funding. Teams are also able to tap into the entrepreneurial ecosystem within UCF and the community.

UCF’s nationally certified teaching team is comprised of a diverse mix of experienced entrepreneurs, investors and UCF faculty including Thomas O’Neal, Oscar Rodriguez, Michael O’Donnell, Cameron Ford, Ivan Garibay and David Metcalf.  The UCF I-Corps teaching team earned its certification via the training and support of Jerry Engel, a professor at Berkeley (University of California), National Faculty Director of the NSF I-Corps program and co-creator of the Lean Launchpad methodology and curriculum.

For more information, please contact Vanessa Zabala at vz@ucf.edu.

UCF “Smartphone Drug Test” Team Selected for Prestigious NSF National I-Corps Program

Team’s Leader Also is UCF’s First to Earn NIJ STEM Fellowship

UCF graduate student David Nash and his team are developing a smartphone-based handheld drug test system for law enforcement applications. The team has been selected to further advance their innovation at the national level through the National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps program.  The team was part of the first cohort to participate in UCF’s I-Corps program.

UCF “Smartphone Drug Test” Team Selected for Prestigious NSF National I Corps Program

UCF’s “smartphone drug test” I-Corps team (from left to right) -Terry Pierce, industry expert and team mentor, David Nash, UCF graduate student and the team’s entrepreneurial lead, Richard Blair, Ph.D., UCF Physics Department and CATER professor and the team’s principal investigator, along with Jerry Engel, co-founder and leader of the Lean Startup movement, Ivan Garibay, Ph.D., program director, UCF I-Corps Site and Tom O’Neal, Ph.D., executive director, UCF I-Corps Site and associate vice president, UCF’s Office of Research & Commercialization.

With its participation in the national program starting in January, the team will continue to receive expert guidance and a $50,000 grant in support to further develop and refine their technology, and to conduct market, and customer validation.  In addition, Nash, a Ph.D. student in chemistry, also recently earned the university’s first National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Graduate Research Fellowship in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics award of $50,000 to fund continued work on a prototype.

The NIJ is the research-funding branch of the Department of Justice.  Annually, it provides a monetary award to a handful of graduate students to conduct research in the social or physical science fields that will help the criminal justice, law enforcement, or forensic communities.

“Our participation in the national NSF I-Corps program and the recent NIJ funding will allow us to greatly propel the development of the technology and the law enforcement community’s awareness of this capability,” said Nash. “It’s an outstanding opportunity and we’re committed to make the most of it.”

The UCF “smartphone drug test” I-Corps team—which includes Nash as its Entrepreneurial Lead, UCF Physics Department and CATER professor Richard Blair, Ph.D. as its Principal Investigator, and Terry Pierce, who with more than three decades of corporate experience in business development and product management acts as its Mentor—are developing a system that leverages spectrometry, smartphone and cloud technologies to allow law enforcement and forensic analysts to rapidly, accurately and safely identify substances of abuse in the field.

In a typical field situation, law enforcement professionals who need to determine the identity of an unknown substance often must conduct a complex and multi-step process utilizing caustic chemicals to appropriately handle and gather the substance, perform the testing and visually interpret the results.

With the team’s smartphone spectrometer system, the law enforcement professional introduces a tiny sample of the unknown substance into a handheld spectrometer. The spectrometer features luminescence technology which measures a unique signature of the substance. The smartphone’s camera is used to take a photo of this image which is then analyzed via an app, developed by the team, which digitizes the image and compares it with a cloud-based reference data library, providing the identity of the substance to the smartphone screen within seconds. In addition to law enforcement, this analytical technology can be used in a variety of forensics, military and other field-test applications.

“We’re digitizing what traditionally has been an analog methodology,” explained Nash. “We expect our technology will increase the speed and accuracy of field tests in analyzing the identity of unknown substances, help reduce false positives and false negatives, and give law enforcement a tool for enhancing the pace of the prosecution process.  In addition, we will be accumulating a database that, through big data analytics, will offer law enforcement local, regional and national data on criminal activity associated with substances of abuse.”

The team is engaging with several Florida-based law enforcement agencies as well as other law enforcement agencies throughout the country to test the system.  Nash anticipates that a beta version of the system will be available early next year.

“The positive trajectory underway for David and his team really epitomizes the benefits of the I-Corps program and its success in fostering innovation among faculty and students,” said Tom O’Neal, Ph.D., executive director for the UCF I-Corps Site and associate vice president, UCF’s Office of Research & Commercialization. “It’s an immersive, hands-on program that connects these teams with appropriate advisors and mentors and is designed to teach the teams how to test their ideas, identify potential customers and markets, and transition their ideas into profitable enterprises. It works and that is why we do it.”

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About UCF I-Corps
The University of Central Florida (UCF) has partnered with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to deliver one of the agency’s flagship programs as an I-Corps Site. The I-Corps Site’s purpose is to foster innovation among faculty, students, and local entrepreneurs, to nurture and support them as teams to transition their ideas, devices, processes or other intellectual activities into the marketplace.  The UCF sites program is part of a national innovation network consisting of 37 universities nationwide. The primary goal of NSF I-Corps is to provide university scientists and researchers the program, process, and resources to investigate and validate the commercialization potential of their science to benefit society. For details visit ICorps.cie.ucf.edu.

UCF I-Corps Announces Third Cohort

Nine Entrepreneurial Teams Selected
Representing Cross Section of University Programs

(ORLANDO, Fla) – Nine teams were chosen by the University of Central Florida (UCF) I-Corps selection panel, as part of its activities that support the Florida Innovation Network, to move research discoveries out of university labs and into the marketplace.

Created by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Innovation (I-Corps) is an important economic development initiative that identifies university researchers, and provides them mentoring and startup funding, to connect research into emerging products and services that benefit societal needs.

The third class (cohort) represents a cross section of students from various UCF programs ranging from entertainment media, nanoscience, virtual simulation, communications, political science, as well as modeling and simulation.

UCF I Corps Announces Third Cohort

I-Corps Selection Panel selects cohort 3 teams. Panel consists of (from left to right): Tom O’Neal, Phil Dumas, George Gramatikas, Oscar Rodriguez, Ben Patz, Michael O’Donnell and Ivan Garibay.

Selected teams include:

  • UTA SiMdeveloping a simulation-based tool that allows for fast, easy and automated construction of simulation models from a spreadsheet.
  • Wear Labdeveloping a vibro-tactile belt that facilitates safe, efficient, urban navigation for visually impaired and complements existing technologies.
  • Bygshiftdeveloping an app to bridge information gap faced by transfer students.
  • Safety Simulationsdeveloping a 3 dimensional virtual simulation for safety that can be used by any industry for safety training.
  • Diversity & Intercultural Communication Trainingdeveloping a simulation based intercultural and diversity training.
  • AR Enhanced Playing Cardsdeveloping a procedural/process based training tool available on demand.
  • Capacitechutilizing nanoscale materials to design and develop coaxial cable incorporated with supercapacitors.
  • Wind Swarmdeveloping a reliable, low to no maintenance, durable anemometer system with no moving parts.
  • iMythdeveloping an interactive program, theme-world engine, to provide an enhanced entertainment and immersive experience to customers.

The UCF I-Corps program provides aspiring entrepreneurs with an immersive, hands-on program designed to teach them how to test their ideas, gauge feasibility, understand consumer demand, examine competition and develop mutually beneficial partnerships to help transition their ideas into profitable enterprises. Experienced advisors and mentors oversee the teams and coach them toward success.

“We thought we were brilliant and knew everything we needed to know to succeed, but the I-Corps program made us realize that we didn’t know enough. Throughout the weeks we learned a lot of valuable lessons, as our instructors provided us with the keys to discover our potential and go on to start and grow a successful company,” says David Nash of Smartphone Spectrometer (cohort 1).

Ivan Garibay, Ph.D., serves as Program Director for UCF I-Corps.   Dr. Garibay said, “UCF’s I-Corps program is a collaborative effort to advance innovative projects with the potential to create new products, companies and jobs within the state. It serves as a key economic engine in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

For more information about UCF I-Corps, please contact us.

I-Corps Recruits Engineers and Researchers Across Florida

NSF’s Flagship Program Focuses on Moving Innovations Beyond the Lab and into the Marketplace

I Corps Recruits Engineers and Researchers Across Florida

Jerry Engel – a leader in the Lean Startup movement – speaking at the inagural UCF I-Corps kickoff event in Orlando

Promoting “Engines of Innovation” through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Ecosystem, the UCF Innovation (I-Corps) Site is working to extend America’s reputation for ingenuity as a “nation of innovators.”

Recruiting cutting-edge scientists and engineers from Florida’s universities and research centers around the state, UCF I-Corps is now accepting applications until May 29, for admission into its fall program which begins August 24, 2015.  The 10-week program will provide selected research teams with first-hand knowledge about entrepreneurship, while exploring and validating the commercial opportunities surrounding their invention.

The NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) is the agency’s signature effort to assist teams of university scientists and post-doctoral or graduate students to venture outside of their laboratories and into the marketplace to test assumptions about the commercial market opportunity.  The primary goal of NSF  I-Corps program is to provide participants with the tools to connect lab discoveries to market and societal needs.

“The I-Corps program is the NSF’s conduit for researchers that have a technology or an invention to validate the commercial opportunity.  Over a ten-week period teams get out of the lab to conduct about 100 interviews in order to test the validity of their assumptions about the market need and opportunity. Teams decide whether or not to pursue the path of additional funding and company formation at the conclusion of the program,” said Ivan Garibay, UCF I-Corps Program Director.

UCF I-Corps teams generally consist of an Entrepreneurial Lead (EL), Principal Investigator (PI) and Industry/I-Corps Mentor.  These aspiring entrepreneurs will participate in an immersive, hands-on program designed to teach them how to test their ideas, gauge feasibility, understand market demand, examine competition and develop mutually beneficial partnerships to help transition their ideas into profitable enterprises.

Once teams complete the UCF I-Corps program, the path to commercial market continues with opportunities for funding in NSF’s national I-Corps program and SBIR/STTR grant funding as well as tapping into the entrepreneurial ecosystem within UCF and the community.

UCF has one of the nation’s best innovation and entrepreneurial networks and is one of 36 universities nationwide, leading an I-Corps Site program. NSF has also established regional I-Corps Nodes, located in such innovation hotspots as Washington DC, New York City, Michigan, San Francisco and Boston.

A nationally certified teaching team oversees the teams and coaches them toward success. UCF’s certified teaching team consists of a mix of experienced entrepreneurs, investors and UCF faculty including Thomas O’Neal, Oscar Rodriguez, Michael O’Donnell, Cameron Ford, Ivan Garibay and David Metcalf.  The entire team earned its certification via training and support by Jerry Engel. Engel, professor at Berkeley (University of California), is National Faculty Director of the NSF I-Corps program and co-creator of the Lean Launchpad methodology and curriculum.

Starter Studio Becomes First UCF I-Corps Community Affiliate

Starter Studio Becomes First UCF I Corps Community Affiliate

Startups from Starter Studio will take the stage at Demo Day tomorrow evening to highlight what they’ve accomplished, pitch their business, and show you why their startup will succeed.

Strengthens the Lean Startup Network in Orlando’s Tech Community

(ORLANDO, Fla) – The University of Central Florida’s (UCF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program is partnering with local regional incubators, accelerators and other organizations supporting entrepreneurs, as Community Affiliates, to provide education programs combined with intense coaching and mentoring services to early-stage technology entrepreneurs.

The first community affiliate to offer the acclaimed National Science Foundation’s (NSF) I-Corps Lean Startup program to high-growth entrepreneurs in Central Florida is Starter Studio.

Starter Studio was launched by Gregg Pollack, founder of Envy Labs and Code School, as a passion project to help tech startups in Orlando thrive. Starter Studio provides education, mentorship, legal and financial resources, networking opportunities, and the right culture to help innovative solutions grow. Ninety-day accelerator classes are offered for aspiring tech startups. Currently, the third class is preparing for graduation.

“The partnership with UCF gives our Starters additional support to grow their new venture.  Participating in the UCF I-Corps program opens up the opportunity to apply for the National NSF I-Corps program as well as SBIR/STTR grants,” said Pollack, founder of Starter Studio.

As a Community Affiliate, organizations such as Starter Studio, will receive training and support from UCF on delivering a tailored version of the Lean Startup education, as well as access to software and other tools for providing the various program elements.

“We are pleased to have Starter Studio as our first UCF I-Corps Community Affiliate.  This is the first step towards our goal of offering this proven program through a premier network of affiliates to university researchers and technology entrepreneurs throughout the region,” said Ivan Garibay, program director for UCF I-Corps.

Local area entrepreneurs selected for the program, receive I-Corps seed grant funds along with other legal and financial services offered by the Community Affiliate. The I-Corps funds are applied to business, market, or early product prototype development.

UCF was awarded the NSF I-Corps grant in November 2014 for a three year timeframe. Plans are in process to support the program through the network of affiliates beyond the period of the grant.

“This is an example of UCF as ‘America’s Partnership University’.  We have shown that contributing like this to the entrepreneur ecosystem in Central Florida benefits the entire economy through increased high-wage jobs and wealth creation”, added Thomas O’Neal, founder/director of UCF I-Corps and the UCF Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Meanwhile, Starter Studio is preparing for its demo night on April 14th where each team from its accelerator class will showcase their work.

Teams include:

  • AutoRetainer®: Provides solo and small firm attorneys the power to send a fee agreement and invoice in less than 30 seconds from any device. Clients can then sign their contract and pay their invoice online.
  • CodeStart: Gives the absolute beginner a university-level coding education in a fun, easy, and affordable way. The interactive courses are designed to provide the skills to make creativity a reality.
  • Comdash: A fixed-asset tracking and management solution that enables companies to maximize their ROI and mitigate losses for corporate offices and data centers.
  • Fattmerchant: A subscription-based merchant services provider that offers unlimited credit card processing for businesses at direct cost for a monthly membership fee.
  • Fitbot: lets trainers create individualized workout programs for their clients, track performance, benchmarks and assessments that the trainer deems are important and communicate in real-time.
  • My School Flow: is a mobile app that pulls assignment, Facebook and email data then organizes it into a calendar that sends reminders for upcoming deadlines.
  • Rapido – is a mobile app for homeowners searching forimmediate service from tradesmen such as HVAC, technicians, plumbers and electricians.

For more information about UCF I-Corps, please contact us.

Information about Starter Studio visit starterstudio.com.

 

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Starter Studio:

Starter Studio was created by Gregg Pollack, founder of Envy Labs and Code School as a passion project to help tech startups in Orlando thrive. Located in downtown Orlando at CANVS, Starter Studio provides education, mentorship, legal and financial resources, networking opportunities, and the right culture to help innovative solutions grow. It is one of Orlando’s first business accelerator programs – anyone interested in taking their company to the next level is welcome to apply. For more information, visit starterstudio.com

 

UCF I-Corps

UCF has been selected by the National Science foundation (NSF) to provide Florida’s first implementation of one of the agency’s flagship programs, an I-Corps Site. The I-Corps Site’s purpose is to foster innovation among faculty and students, promoting regional coordination and linkages in the innovation ecosystem, as well as develop a National Innovation Network. The primary goal of NSF I-Corps is to provide University scientists and researchers the program, process, and resources to investigate and validate the commercialization of their science. UCF has one of the nation’s best innovation and entrepreneurial networks and is one of 15 universities nationwide that is leading an I-Corps Site program. The UCF I-Corps program is administered by the university’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), a department that consolidates and coordinates UCF’s major innovation and entrepreneurship support activities. Details visit Icorps.ucf.edu

 

UCF Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship:

The University of Central Florida Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (UCF CIE) is a university wide program consolidating and coordinating major innovation and entrepreneurship support activities with the objectives of: Education, Research and Outreach. Its goal is to leverage university and regional partnerships to create an effective entrepreneurial support infrastructure in the Central Florida Region, with a mission to promote innovation, wealth creation, and economic vitality. The UCF CIE programs include: Florida Small Business Development Center at UCF, GrowFL, UCF’s Business Incubation Program, Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Innovation Corps (I-Corps), Office of Technology Transfer, and the Venture Accelerator . Connect at cie.ucf.edu

UCF I-Corps Announces Inaugural Class

Nine Entrepreneurial Teams Selected
Representing Cross Section of University Programs

(ORLANDO, Fla) – The University of Central Florida (UCF) I-Corps committee announced the entrepreneurial teams selected to participate in the program’s inaugural class. Teams will embark on their 10-week journey beginning January 30, 2015.

The inaugural I-Corps class represents a cross section of students from various UCF programs, including College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS), Institute for Simulation and Training (IST), Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), NanoScience Technology Center (NSTC), College of Medicine (COM) and School of Visual Arts and Design (SVAD).

UCF I-Corps teams generally consist of an Entrepreneurial Lead (EL), Principal Investigator (PI) and Industry/I-Corps Mentor. Inaugural teams include: Talon Simulations (CECS); Autonomous Vehicle (IST); Smartphone Spectrometer (NSTC); e-Book Platform (CECS); Xapagy (CECS); MotivATE (COM); HybridaSol (FSEC); Healthshares (COM); and iBeacon Platform (SVAD).

These aspiring entrepreneurs will participate in an immersive, hands-on program designed to teach them how to test their ideas, gauge feasibility, understand consumer demand, examine competition and develop mutually beneficial partnerships to help transition their ideas into profitable enterprises. Experienced advisors and mentors oversee the teams and coach them toward success.

The inaugural teaching team consists of a mix of experienced entrepreneurs and UCF faculty including Thomas O’Neal, Oscar Rodriguez, Michael O’Donnell, Cameron Ford, Ivan Garibay and David Metcalf. The entire teaching team was trained at the Lean LaunchPad Educators Seminar at Stanford. This training was facilitated by Jerry Engel and Steve Blanks, creators of the Lean Launchpad movement. Engel, a professor at Berkeley (University of California) and National Faculty Director of the NSF

I-Corps program, will be co-teaching the first and last inaugural classes with the UCF teaching team.

Dr. Nicoleta Hickman UCF’s FSEC, will serve as the PI for HybridaSol. “Our entire team is excited to accept this honor and challenge,” says Dr. Hickman. “To be part of this first group is very special, and we are determined not to disappoint. We realize this is a major investment in HybridaSol by the National Science Foundation and the I-Corps committee.”

Ivan Garibay, Ph.D.

UCF I Corps Announces Inaugural Class

Ivan Garibay, Ph.D., serves as Program Director for UCF I-Corps. “Being named one of only 15 universities nationwide to lead an I-Corps site is an incredible opportunity and privilege for UCF,” explains Garibay. “The I-Corps committee put much time and effort into choosing teams representing diverse ideas and innovations. We look forward to seeing the transformation and progress of our inaugural class.”

I-Corps at UCF is Officially Here!

I Corps at UCF is Officially Here!UCF is excited to begin the Fall 2014 semester as an I-Corp site! The university has partnered with the National Science foundation (NSF) to create Florida’s first link to one of the agency’s hottest new funding and innovation strategies, NSF’s I-Corps program.

For those of you wanting to know a little more about the program:

The NSF Innovation Corps, or I-Corps, is the agency’s signature effort to push scientists and engineers outside of their laboratories and into the marketplace where they can learn first-hand what is required to make products that consumers want. The primary goal of NSF I-Corps is to foster entrepreneurship that will lead to the commercialization of technology that has been supported previously by NSF-funded research.

UCF is one of 15 universities nationwide that is leading an I-Corps site. NSF has also established five regional I-Corps centers, or nodes, located in such innovation hotspots as Washington DC, New York City, Michigan, San Francisco and Massachusetts.

How the program works:

UCF has received $300,000 in NSF I-Corps funding and will use it to reach even more potential inventors and innovators. The goal of the program is to recruit and train 96 entrepreneurial teams that could result in 96 new companies in three years. The new program will offer up to $3,000 to 32 teams annually to be used as early development seed money to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into potentially viable companies. Development of prototypes, customer research and travel to meetings with potential customers would all be acceptable expenses, said Ivan Garibay, researcher at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and I-Corps Site Program Director.

Teams will consist of an entrepreneurial lead (who could be a student), an industry mentor, and an academic lead (typically a faculty member).

By utilizing a group of experienced advisors to mentor and coach the selected teams, the NSF is counting on cultivating more qualified applicants for larger funding awards, such as the $50,000 offered by the NSF I-Corps Teams program, and up to $1.4M in awards from the NSF SBIR program.

The I-Corps program, which will be housed at UCF’s newly established Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) , is developing a new generation of entrepreneurs and increasing the economic impact of fundamental research by combining a method for company creation that has proven successful in Silicon Valley with hands-on coaching and feedback from consumers.

A selected group of teams will be participating in a fall pilot program called the Lean LaunchPad Bootcamp. UCF students and faculty, who are interested in participating in the bootcamp can submit an application found on the website: icorps.cie.ucf.edu.

The CIE is the collective home for UCF’s existing entrepreneurship programs and will be an integral part of both the identification of potential team members and the follow-up mentoring and coaching activities. A specific goal of UCF’s I-Corps program is to increase the numbers of women and underrepresented minorities involved in starting companies.

Did you know that UCF has already been established as the center of an entrepreneurial ecosystem? This program will only augment its efforts to promote innovation and entrepreneurship not only through all of Central Florida, but throughout the entire state!

“We are going to be teaching people how to be entrepreneurs,” said Tom O’Neal, associate vice president for the Office of Research & Commercialization and I-Corps Site Executive Program Director. “Our strategy is to increase the number of successful spin-out companies based on research and innovation.”

View the full announcement of the I-Corps program at UCF here.

For more information about UCF I-Corps, please contact us.

UCF Member of NSF’s National Innovation Network

UCF Awarded NSF I-Corps Site Grant

UCF Member of NSF’s National Innovation Network

I-Corps program executive committee: Ivan Garibay, Cameron Ford, Tom O’Neal, Pallavoor “Vaidy” Vaidyanathan and Oscar Rodriguez. Not pictured, Timothy Kotnour and Michael O’Donnell.

(ORLANDO, Fla) – UCF has partnered with the National Science foundation (NSF) to create Florida’s first link to one of the agency’s hottest new funding and innovation strategies, NSF’s I-Corps program.

The NSF Innovation Corps, or I-Corps, is the agency’s signature effort to push scientists and engineers outside of their laboratories and into the marketplace where they can learn first-hand what is required to make products that consumers want. The primary goal of NSF I-Corps is to foster entrepreneurship that will lead to the commercialization of technology that has been supported previously by NSF-funded research.

“We are going to be teaching people how to be entrepreneurs,” said Tom O’Neal, associate vice president for the Office of Research & Commercialization and I-Corps Site Executive Program Director. “Our strategy is to increase the number of successful spin-out companies based on research and innovation.” Read more