MIT Researchers Considering a Startup

Explore taking your new technology to the marketplace
Get entrepreneurial training, support, and learn how to apply for $50K
Increase your chances of receiving an SBIR/STTR award
The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Innovation Corps or I-Corps is a program that prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and to accelerate the transfer of cutting-edge, NSF-funded research into commercial success.

MIT has received an award from the NSF to establish an I-Corps Site Program at MIT.  This training program provides researchers with the tools and a seed micro-grant of up to $2,000 to explore potential applications for a technology and understand who would be a customer and why. Faculty, staff and students working on STEM-related technology can enroll and engage in a customer discovery process for their innovation. 

Researchers completing the MIT I-Corps program may qualify for participation in an immersive national NSF advanced customer discovery program and receive a $50K grant to support that exploration.

Our mission is to increase research-based technology commercialization capabilities and activities across the Institute.

Who it's for

Whether you are just curious about entrepreneurship or certain you want to create a startup, I-Corps provides researchers with the ideal entry point. Faculty, staff and students working on any STEM-related technology anywhere at MIT can enroll. 

Scientific Method meets Entrepreneurship

You will form hypotheses about your potential customers and their value propositions. You will test them by conducting customer interviews. You will analyze the data, adjust and iterate.

Customized and Flexible

The MIT I-Corps program is designed to fit around your busy calendar.  Enroll and start at any time. The assignments are online and allow you to move as quickly as you like or take as long as you need. You will also meet instructors for 1on1 training in Office Hours.

What you will Get 

• A greater understanding of why your technology has value and to whom
• Finding a market for your technology that had not been previously considered.
• Gaining an appreciation for what it takes to commercialize technology and the barriers to adoption.
• An expanded network of like-minded peers, instructors, investors, customers and mentors.

MIT I-Corps Requirements

Your I-Corps project must be based on new, innovative, and differentiating technology that could be a candidate for a future SBIR proposal.  

Open to current MIT faculty, postdocs, students and research staff.

Must be a team of at least 2 people comprised of an Academic Lead (AL) and an Entrepreneurial Lead (EL).
AL – often faculty or other PI, but postdoc or PhD student qualify
EL – often a student or postdoc, the EL serves as team spokesperson

You must also be enrolled in the MIT Venture Mentoring Service as mentoring is an important component in the training.  It also provides you with continuity after you complete the program if you wish to pursue further activities related to a launching a venture.

I'm Interested!
Contact Us


MIT I-Corps 
MIT Venture Mentoring Service
120 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
W31- 3rd floor

Contact Us

Share by: