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.

Ivan Garibay, Ph.D.

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.”