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Introduction to the Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps)

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I-Corps is an accelerator program created by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop scientific and engineering discoveries into successful commercial ventures. Over the course of the seven-week program, it seeks to train academic researchers to become entrepreneurs and drive worthy projects to the market. Participating teams can receive a $50,000 grant to be used to discover a commercial application for their technology.

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Introduction to the Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps)

  1. 1. @NYUEntrepreneur Intro to the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Frank Rimalovski Executive Director, NYU Entrepreneurial Institute Instructor, NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) April 29, 2016
  2. 2. @NYUEntrepreneur Agenda u Background u Program benefits and outcomes u Program details o Curriculum o Eligibility o Application process u Scaling I-Corps: NIH, DOE, DOD, etc. u How we can help u Q&A 2
  3. 3. @NYUEntrepreneur Path to commercialization… u …increasingly requires startup to advance tech, develop customer/partner relationships & build team before M&A Startup Acquired By
  4. 4. @NYUEntrepreneur 75% of startups fail to return investors capital Shikhar Ghosh Harvard Business School
  5. 5. @NYUEntrepreneur Commercialization Myth Basic & Applied Research Scientific Discovery/ Invention/ IP Creation Venture Formation & Growth
  6. 6. @NYUEntrepreneur The “valley of death” Commercialization Reality Basic & Applied Research Scientific Discovery/ Invention/ IP Creation Venture Formation & Growth
  7. 7. @NYUEntrepreneurThe “valley of death” Basic & Applied Research Scientific Discovery/ Invention/ IP Creation Customer Discovery & Prototype Dev Business Model & Team Formation Venture Formation & Growth • Customer/market discovery • Engineering/prototypes • Mentors & advisors • Collaborative spaces • Business leadership • Legal counsel • Capital Commercialization Reality
  8. 8. @NYUEntrepreneur Humans Start Startups u Graduate students & postdocs play critical role in commercializing technology from the lab u Tech transfer via humans, not legal docs u Tech startups require a technical founder u Relationships with faculty are critical u Research-based startups at greater risk unless deliberately explore market opportunities early 8
  9. 9. @NYUEntrepreneur (At least) Three Parts to Building a Successful Startups 1. Advancing the product/technology 2. Beginning to build a team 3. Finding a repeatable business model u Most focus on #1 and/or #2 u Successful efforts require all three 9
  10. 10. @NYUEntrepreneur10
  11. 11. @NYUEntrepreneur Overview Creation of NSF I-Corps Program u Maximize impact of NSF investments o Accelerate transition of tech out of lab o Train scientists, engineers & researchers in startup best practices § Get customer feedback before building & launching product/business § Develop an evidence-based commercialization strategy & plan u $50,000 grants u 7-week immersive bootcamp u Facilitates team formation
  12. 12. @NYUEntrepreneur NSF I-Corps Teams 12 Principal Investigator (PI) Entrepreneurial Lead (EL) Industry Mentor (IM)
  13. 13. @NYUEntrepreneur I-Corps Nodes & Sites 13
  14. 14. @NYUEntrepreneur Curriculum: Lean Launchpad u Customer/business-model discovery & development to address market risk u Leverages scientific method to search for repeatable & scalable business model u Learn to secure substantial customer feedback before finishing & launching your product
  15. 15. @NYUEntrepreneur Curriculum: Flipped Classroom u Online lectures via Udacity u “Classroom” time spent reviewing progress u Interview >100 customers/ partners (~15 week) u Teaching team office hours u Track progress in Launchpad Central
  16. 16. @NYUEntrepreneur Example I-Corps Schedule I-Corps Cohorts are currently run 3-4x per quarter Week 1: Intro Bootcamp (in-person) Mon Sept 29 – all day Tues Sept 30 – all day Wed Oct 1 – half day Weeks 2-6: Webex Classes (online) Thurs Oct 9 – 12:30 – 3:30pm Thurs Oct 16 – 12:30 – 3:30pm Thurs Oct 23 – 12:30 – 3:30pm Thurs Oct 30 – 12:30 – 3:30pm Thurs Nov 6 – 12:30 – 3:30pm Week 7: Final Presentations (in-person) Mon Nov 10 – all day Tues Nov 11 – all day
  17. 17. @NYUEntrepreneur Benefits of I-Corps For your startup u Concentrated time to focus on team & commercialization—a year’s worth of work in 7 weeks u Funding for customer discovery & prototype development u Exposure to/input from startup experts, investors & mentors u Answer critical business questions…
  18. 18. @NYUEntrepreneur Answer Critical Biz Questions u Who are your initial target customers? u What do they value/why will they buy? u How do we get/keep/grow customers? u What is your channel strategy/how will we sell? u What is your revenue model/how make money? u What key partnerships do you need to start? u What are the key skills you need on your team? u What is your cost structure? 18
  19. 19. @NYUEntrepreneur Evidence-based Entrepreneurship (aka the Lean Startup) 19
  20. 20. @NYUEntrepreneur Not about picking winners! 20
  21. 21. @NYUEntrepreneur About creating more winners! 21
  22. 22. @NYUEntrepreneur Improve Fundraising Odds 22 WithI-Corps: 14% 2-3x higher WithoutI-Corps:
  23. 23. @NYUEntrepreneur Get to Market More Quickly u Time to “Go/No go”: Average time from discovery -> validation -> execution u 68 weeks vs 22 weeks! 23
  24. 24. @NYUEntrepreneur Einstein discovers that time is actually money
  25. 25. @NYUEntrepreneur Benefits for you & your team! u Improved ability to identify commercial potential of future research u Increased probability of future grant success u Faculty more attractive to potential students u Increased visibility with NSF u More consulting opportunities u New career opportunities for grad students/postdocs (startup, industry, or gov) u Potential for monetary gain
  26. 26. @NYUEntrepreneur Expected Outcomes o New startup business o Licensing opportunities o A business case suitable for venture capital (Angels or VC funds)
  27. 27. @NYUEntrepreneur >900 Teams Trained!
  28. 28. @NYUEntrepreneur NSF I-Corps Eligibility u NSF award within last 5 years (for NSF program); or participate in a regional program u Team in place at time of application o Principal Investigator (PI) o Entrepreneurial Lead: typically PhD student or Postdoc o Industry Mentor u Commitment to attend all sessions over 7 weeks o 3-day kick-off o 3 hours per week for webex ‘classes’ o 15+ hours per week of customer discovery/preparation o 2-day final presentation session 28
  29. 29. @NYUEntrepreneur Application Process Form Team Prepare Exec Summary Contact Program Directors Team Interview(s) Submit Proposal
  30. 30. @NYUEntrepreneur Application Process Form Team Prepare Exec Summary Contact Program Directors Team Interview(s) Submit Proposal Principal Investigator (PI) Entrepreneurial Lead (EL) Industry Mentor (IM)
  31. 31. @NYUEntrepreneur Application Process Form Team Prepare Exec Summary Contact Program Directors Team Interview(s) Submit Proposal u One page u Composition of team proposing to undertake commercialization feasibility research u Relevant awards (NSF or other funding source) u Brief description of potential commercial impact u Brief description of current commercialization plan
  32. 32. @NYUEntrepreneur Application Process Form Team Prepare Exec Summary Contact Program Directors Team Interview(s) Submit Proposal u For NSF Program: Topic-Specific Program Directors Steve Ellis – BIO Anita La Salle – CISE Don Millard – EHR TBD – ENG Raffaella Montelli – GEO Sean Liam Jones – MPS Irene Qualters – OCI Quinetta Roberson– SBE I-Corps Program Officers Lydia McClure Anita La Salle u For Regional Program: Frank Rimalovski Lindsey Gray Risa Cohn
  33. 33. @NYUEntrepreneur Application Process 33 Form Team Prepare Exec Summary Contact Program Directors Team Interview(s) Submit Proposal u Conference call with your entire team & program directors o NSF program will require at least 2 interviews u Interviews focus on availability and commitment to program and openness to customer feedback u Not asked to provide details about your tech
  34. 34. @NYUEntrepreneur Application Process 34 Form Team Prepare Exec Summary Contact Program Directors Team Interview(s) Submit Proposal FOR NSF PROGRAM ONLY: u Read solicitation 12-602 Written authorization from Program Director required to submit proposal—sent after phone interviews u 5-page proposal o Team (2 pages) o NSF Lineage (1 Page) o Potential Commercial Impact (1 page) o Project Plan/Demo (1 page) u Rolling process, quarterly batches, FCFS u 4-week turnaround to award
  35. 35. @NYUEntrepreneur We are here to help u Additional detail about program & what to expect u Discuss what kind of projects are best suited u Introductions to mentors who may join your team u Facilitate intro to NSF I-Corps Program Directors u Review executive summary before you submit u Help anticipate what to expect from interviews u Connect with others who’ve participated in I-Corps
  36. 36. @NYUEntrepreneurhttp://bit.ly/WhatisICorps
  37. 37. @NYUEntrepreneur Scaling I-Corps 37 “We’re scaling up the National Science Foundation’s successful Innovation Corps program at six more federal agencies so we can help more of our scientists move their ideas out of the lab and into the marketplace.”
  38. 38. @NYUEntrepreneur Scaling I-Corps 38
  39. 39. @NYUEntrepreneur Scaling I-Corps 39
  40. 40. @NYUEntrepreneur 3 Differences u Apply after SBIR/STTR Phase I award u Team composition: o Principal Investigator o CXO o Industry mentor/expert u Minor curriculum/structural modifications 40
  41. 41. @NYUEntrepreneur Bigger Than Revenue Model u Testing hypotheses makes substantive changes to biz model before you complete science/design o Define clinical utility o Who core & tertiary users/buyers/payers are o Data required for future partnerships/collaborations o Initial revenues and downstream commercialization o Intellectual property risks o Regulatory pathways o Reimbursement strategies o Aspects of the product that are (& are not) valuable u Affects your core biological & clinical hypotheses 41
  42. 42. @NYUEntrepreneur Participating NIH Agencies u 14 Institutes/Centers across NIH and CDC are participating. o National Cancer Institute (NCI) o National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) o National Institute on Aging (NIA) o National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) o National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) o National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) o National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) o National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) o National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) o National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) o National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) o National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) o CDC/National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) o CDC/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) 42
  43. 43. @NYUEntrepreneur More Information NSF I-Corps: o nsf.gov/i-corps NYCRIN I-Corps o nycrin.org NIH I-Corps o http://sbir.cancer.gov/resource/icorps/ DOE I-Corps (Lab Corps) o http://energy.gov/eere/lab-impact/downloads/lab- corps-documents
  44. 44. @NYUEntrepreneur Questions? entrepreneur@nyu.edu @nyuentrepreneur entrepreneur.nyu.edu 16 Washington Place 44

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