The von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center is entering the second year of its I-Corps program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). This winter 15 teams interested in starting their own company will have the opportunity to explore the commercialization potential of their ideas and receive up to $50,000 in funding for prototype development. In the process, they will also gain valuable mentoring support by seasoned entrepreneurs.
Thursday, January 15 at midnight is the hard deadline for students applying to the I-Corps program. According to Jay Gilberg, who runs the program, there are several openings for the upcoming I-Corps entrepreneurism course that will involve six evening sessions (6-8pm) starting January 29 through March 12 . He encourages applications from students who have a "technology worthy of commercializing" and want to explore the market potential of their business ideas. But the brief online application must be submitted no later than midnight on January 15. Those accepted into the program may qualify for $1,000 in proof-of-concept funding, and can go on to compete for another $2,000 in funding through UCSD competitions. The most promising teams, however, may eventually be referred to other funding opportunities, including the NSF's own I-Corps fund that awards $50,000 grants. Gilberg notes that concepts for commercialization are the focus of the I-Corps program, whereas pure software ideas, especially apps, are more appropriately targeted for programs run by the Moxie Center (see below).