Monday, April 17, 2017

A new National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded initiative aims to foster entrepreneurship on campus and help take UNH-developed innovations from the lab to commercial markets.

With $300,000 from the NSF, the three-year initiative, I-Corps, will provide team-based training to researchers, students and business mentors to convert academic discoveries into marketable commercial products. The program also works to connect researchers with resources, with teams receiving up to $3,000 to help determine if their ideas match customer demand. UNH is one of only 52 I-Corps university sites in the country.

Andrew Earle, assistant professor of strategic management and entrepreneurship in the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics, and Marc Sedam, director of UNHInnovation, were instrumental in bringing the program to UNH.

Angel Investors

In 1978, UNH business professor William Wetzel coined the term “angel investors” as part of a pioneering study on how entrepreneurs raised seed capital in the U.S. Wetzel went on to found UNH’s Center for Venture Research in 1984.

“Our I-Corps grant recognizes both UNH’s track record of innovation and our potential to do more to help our inventions reach the market and solve important problems in the future,” says Earle.

Sedam serves as the instructor for the training sessions, while Earle’s primary role in I-Corps is evaluation, tying into his research on innovation and entrepreneurship.

“In addition to the standard metrics involving technology commercialization, we are also examining how participants draw on their social networks during the program, and how these networks affect program outcomes,” Earle says.

innovation.unh.edu/icorps

Faculty members and industry mentors: For more information on I-Corps training, contact unh.icorps@unh.edu.