NSF I-Corps Sites


Maximize Research Impact

The National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps Sites Program provides specialized training and mini grants of up to $3,000 to help teams bridge the gap between academic research and product commercialization, University intellectual property, or any STEM-related technology. 

"NSF I-Corps gave a different dimension to the research I do. Being able to identify the commercial opportunity is so rewarding! It has been the best experience in grad school. Thanks a lot for the support and guidance you have provided me."

Abishek Iyer, PhD candidate, Electrical Engineering



  • Training in evidence-based entrepreneurship from experienced instructors
  • Connections to professionals in both technical and business fields
  • 24/7 access to the Venture Development Center coworking space
  • Opportunity to receive more funding


All University of Delaware undergraduates, graduates, post-dcotoral scholars or faculty/staff are eligible to apply. All teams must have an entrepreneurial lead, academic lead and external mentor. Teams may include additional students.

The entrepreneurial lead may be an undergraduate student, graduate student, post-doctoral scholar, or staff member with relevant knowledge of the technology or market and a deep commitment to investigate the potential opportunity for commercialization. The role of the entrepreneurial lead is to drive the customer discovery process and support the transition of the technology into the marketplace if it demonstrates commercial viability.

The academic lead will often have been involved in creating the STEM-related technology that forms the basis of the team’s business concept or possess a high level of relevant technical expertise. The role of the academic lead is overall project management.

The external mentor will typically be an experienced or emerging entrepreneur who serves as a third-party resource. The role of the mentor will be to guide the team forward and track progress. Teams choosing to apply without designating an external mentor will be assigned one for the duration of the training program.

Additional team members are typically students.

Review Team & Award Criteria

All applications are reviewed by an interdisciplinary team, which includes Dan Freeman, Vince DiFelice, and Mike Rinkunas.

Priority scoring based on team commitment, team quality and commercial potential is used to select teams for awards. Five to eight awards are typically offered per cohort during a review cycle.


Cohort 20

Sept. 29, 2021

Applications due by 5 p.m.

Oct. 5, 2021

Session 1 

Oct. 12, 2021

Session 2

Oct. 19, 2021

Session 3

Nov. 2, 2021

Session 4 

Nov. 16, 2021

Session 5

Sessions take place via zoom from 4 - 7 p.m.