The National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps Program

The National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (NSF I-Corps) is a program aimed at teaching university researchers the process for moving a university research discovery towards commercialization. Program participants will use the Lean Launchpad curriculum to assess the commercial viability of opportunities that arise from academic research in the STEM fields, by conducting customer interviews and working closely with mentors who have commercialization expertise.

About Our Program

The George Mason University I-Corps Program will work on exploratory business ventures started by faculty, staff, students, and recent alumni, to accelerate business exploration and creation.

The teams consist of:

  1. an entrepreneurial lead – typically a student or postdoctoral fellow,
  2. an academic lead– typically a staff or faculty member, and
  3. a mentor, who can be a non-Mason affiliate.

The program will include an I-Corps Short Course designed to introduce participants to the key concepts and methodologies used in I-Corps, which is the rigorous market assessment and validation program pioneered by the NSF.  Moreover, upon completion of the I-Corps Short Course, participants may be eligible to apply for the National I-Corps Program (an intensive 7-week NSF training with the opportunity to be awarded a $50,000 grant for further assessment of the opportunity) as well as many other funding opportunities.

The program will provide infrastructure, advice, resources, networking opportunities, training, and potentially funding (awards of up to $3,000 per team) to enable teams to transition their work towards the marketplace or into becoming National I-Corps Team applicants.

For general information about the I-Corps site program or questions about the eligibility of your idea, email:

Kuzeyhan Ozdemir, I-Corps Site Program Manager

Sampson Addo, I-Corps Hub Program Manager

For more detailed inquiries, contact Mason’s NSF I-Corps Hub Lead and Site co-PI:

Gisele Stolz, Senior Director, Entrepreneurship Programs, Office of Research, Innovation, and Economic Impact

Andre Marshall, PhD, Vice President for Research, Innovation and Economic Impact, I-Corps Hub Principal Investigator