Visionaries, Innovators & Problem Solvers – VIPs
Key Program Dates
Pre-Opening Workshop & Orientation: May 7, 2021 (3:00 pm - 4:30 pm)
Opening Workshop: May 14, 2021 (9:00 am – 4:00 pm)
Closing Workshop: June 4, 2021 (9:00 am – 4:00 pm)
All NSF I-Corps events will be held via zoom.
Deadline to apply: Monday, April 12, 2021***
The Texas Tech University (TTU) I-Corps Site Program is currently seeking to enroll new participants in a National Science Foundation (NSF) supported program designed to foster science and technology entrepreneurship. This program is open to students, faculty, staff, and members of the greater West Texas Community who are solving problems to make the world a better place.
The NSF I-Corps program cultivates and supports VIPs by teaching program participants how to identify novel commercial applications for an idea or technology. Applicants interested in developing an idea, concept, or technology are encouraged to participate.
The program is designed to develop skills in "customer discovery". This is the process of identifying your potential customers and the problem your innovation is solving for society. Answering these questions are the keys to thinking about future development.
The TTU NSF I-Corps Site teams may apply for support funds related to the team's efforts in customer discovery.
Application Requirements, At-A-Glance
- 2-3 page summary of the applicant's perceptions, including:
o Summary of problem being solved
o Description of the technology concept
o Description of the commercial potential of the idea/technology
o Description of the target customer that would benefit from the innovation
- In 250 words or less, describe how you will benefit from participating and what you hope to learn from the Site program
- Resume of Primary Applicant
- Build a Team (See Below)
How to Get Started
To get started, an important first step is to establish one member of the team as a dependable "captain" to manage all communications and logistics for the team and correspondence with Hub staff. The captain also completes the application.
Step 1: Complete the Innovation Hub Inquiry Form.Inquiry Form
Step 2: Submit an application.Submit Application
Step 3: Application reviewed by the Site Innovation Team (SIT).
Step 4: Selected teams are invited to an in-person interview with a SIT member.
Step 5: Letter of acceptance into the program to selected teams.
Step 6: Team participates in the scheduled program orientation.
Step 7: Funds disbursed to selected teams.
*SIT – Site Innovation Team and Advisory Committee of Subject Matter Experts
What we Mean by Your Team
Each team at this early stage must have a project lead and a technology or scientific lead.
Technology concepts can originate from faculty research labs, internship experiences, capstone courses, or other science-based practical courses. Concepts should be original and, in an area of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) normally supported by the National Science Foundation but can include other disciplines or inventions from non-traditional pathways.
The Project Lead (PL) may be a postdoctoral scholar, graduate or other student, staff member, researcher, or other person with relevant knowledge of the technology and a deep commitment to investigate the commercial landscape surrounding the innovation. The Project Lead should also be capable and have the will to support the transition of the technology, should the I-Corps Team's project demonstrate the potential for commercial viability.
The Technical Lead (TL) may be a faculty member, senior research scientist, inventor, postdoctoral scholar, or technical/subject matter expert with deep and direct technical expertise in the actual core technology about which the I-Corps team is exploring commercial potential. Typically, the Technical Lead will also serve as the Principal Investigator (PI).