Lobo Rainforest I-Corps

Is your technology ready for the market?

  • Explore the transition of your technology to the marketplace through 10 weeks of entrepreneurial training from the Lobo Rainforest I-Corps program
  • Determine the value proposition, customer, the size of the market, and market trends for your technology.
  • Receive a dedicated mentor to provide one-on-one guidance through the program
  • Learn to use tools such as Slack and Zoom
  • Receive $3,000 for to fund customer discovery efforts and proof-of-concept prototyping
  • Receive designation as an NSF-funded project, leading to further opportunities for training and funding through the
    national I-Corps program ($50,000)
  • Conduct 25-100 discovery interviews, provide a formal presentation at the end of the program to receive feedback on the commercialization opportunity of your technology.

Program Overview

The University of New Mexico is a National Science foundation (NSF) I-Corps Site. The I-Corps Site’s purpose is to foster innovation among faculty and students, promote regional coordination and linkages in the innovation ecosystem, as well as develop a National Innovation Network. Request for proposals are issued twice each year (in the Fall and Spring)

The program offers seed funding to each selected team to be used to explore to commercialization and prototyping.

The NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) is the agency’s signature effort to assist teams of university scientists and post-doctoral or graduate students to go outside of their laboratories and into the marketplace where they can learn first-hand about entrepreneurship while they explore and validate the commercial landscape surrounding their innovation. The primary goal of NSF I-Corps is to provide University scientists and researchers the program, process, and resources to investigate and validate the commercialization of their science.

The UNM I-Corps program is administered by the university’s Innovation Academy, UNM’s innovative program for entrepreneurial students and STC.UNM (STC), UNM’s technology transfer and economic development arm.

Teams will consist of an academic lead (typically a UNM faculty or staff member), an entrepreneurial lead (a UNM student or post-doc), and an external industry mentor provided by the I-Corps program

Lean LaunchPad Curriculum

Each selected team will participate in weekly trainings using the Lean LaunchPad (LLP) curriculum and methodology.

Created, developed, and taught by entrepreneurs, the Lean Launch is an experience-based program focused around a “business model canvas”, where I-Corps teams make hypotheses about important aspects of their business model, such as who their key partners and main markets will be, go out and interview experts in the field, and then come back and refine their hypotheses based on the data from the interviews.

Selected teams will leave the workshop possessing a solid understanding of what is necessary to achieve an economic impact with a particular innovation.

If you have any questions about the program, you can email cmichaliszyn@stc.unm.edu.