Program Details


The NSF I-Corps Site at NJIT training program consists of several self-paced learning modules that will introduce the teams to the Lean Startup Method. All team members will be expected to participate in the online Moodle based coursework.  The first activity is a initial survey for all team members. 

The I-Corps Site curriculum is based on the Lean Launch Pad (LLP) course developed by serial entrepreneur and educator Steve Blank.  The basic components of the LLP curriculum are widely utilized by technology entrepreneurs in leading startup communities and has been endorsed by the National Science Foundation.  Elements include usage of the Business Model Canvas and interviews with potential customers.  

As a self-paced course, it should be completed within the first three months or first half of the grant period and could be done within 30 days.  Key textbook resources will be available in the NJIT library (on reserve at the front desk - under Ehrlich) or can be purchased with grant funds:

  • Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder
  • Lean Startup by Eric Ries


Up to $3,000 awards are granted to support team-based customer discovery research aimed at investigating the commercial viability of a product idea or a specific market application of a novel process, device, or other technology. Award funding can be used to support any expenses related to customer discovery research, including prototyping costs. Legal expenses are not permitted. Teams will have a period of 6 months to spend their awards, beginning on the date of their first training session.



All teams must have, at a minimum, an Entrepreneurial Lead, Business Mentor and an Academic Lead.

The Entrepreneurial Lead could be a Post-Doctoral scholar, graduate student, undergraduate or other student, or professional staff, with relevant knowledge of the technology and a deep commitment to investigate the commercial landscape surrounding the innovation. 

The Business Mentor will typically be an experienced or emerging entrepreneur with proximity to the institution and experience in transitioning technology out of academic labs. The role of the Business Mentor is to drive the customer discovery process and support the transition of the technology into the marketplace if it demonstrates commercial viability. However, if you don't have a Business Mentor we will assist you in finding a suitable Mentor. 

The Academic Lead will be responsible for overall project management. The Academic Lead must have an academic appointment that would normally qualify the Academic Lead to submit proposals or play the role of a PI in subsequent submissions to NSF.




NSF I-Corps Sites Program is soliciting applications for its next cohorts.

Deadline for Submissions: Thursday, September 14, 2017
Interviews of Finalists: Monday – Friday, September 18-22, 2017
Announcement of Awards: Friday,  September 29, 2017
Mandatory Team Orientation: Friday, October 13, 2017 (Common Hour)
Other Mandatory Sessions: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 and Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Final Report due March 28, 2018

Click for PDF of Program Details.