Regional I-Corps Program

Regional I-Corps Program

About the Program

The George Mason University’s NSF I-Corps Regional Program assist faculty, researchers, students, staff, innovators, and founders from across the Commonwealth in exploring the commercial viability of their technology-based innovation ideas to accelerate business exploration and creation and, ultimately, make a real-world/societal impact. I-CORPS Teams will be assigned a mentor to assist them.
The Mason I-Corps Regional Program is designed to introduce participants to the key concepts and methodologies used in I-Corps, which is the rigorous customer discovery and validation program pioneered by the NSF.  The program provides infrastructure, advice, resources, networking opportunities, training, and potential funding (awards of up to $3,000 per team) to enable teams to transition their work toward the marketplace or into becoming National I-Corps Team applicants. Participants receive no-cost, confidential one-on-one, and long-term mentoring from Tech Mentors (who are experienced industry experts and entrepreneurs).
The Regional Program is held on Zoom virtually six times a year, January/February, March, May, July, September, and November. Each cohort has six sessions, with the Introductory session lasting 2 hours (from 6 pm – 8 pm ET), and all the other five sessions lasting 3 hours (9 am – 12 pm or 1 pm – 4 pm ET) per session.

Eligibility and Expectations

  • Technology Innovation: The program is designed to assist teams in commercializing a technological innovation developed through university research or an academic laboratory.
  • Team Size: A team of 1 – 4 people consisting of Mason faculty, post-doctoral researchers, staff, and students with or without startup or business experience.
  • Time investment: All team members must attend each course session and have a minimum 1-hour weekly meeting with assigned mentors, starting before the first day of the cohort.
  • Commitment: Each team will need to commit 15 hours of classroom work, 2 hours of homework, 20 interviews, 5 hours of assigned readings and videos, and 3 hours of ICAP Mentor office hours for a potential total of about 45 hours during the duration of the course.

Benefits of the Program

  • Gain invaluable insights into stakeholders and the ecosystem.
  • Get a no-cost, confidential 1:1, and long-term mentoring from ICAP Mentors
  • Become eligible for the NSF I-Corps National Teams program, an intensive 7-week training facilitated by NSF, and a $50,000 grant.
  • Access to additional funding opportunities from various sources, including VIPC, SBIR/STTR, PFI, and other funding avenues.
  • Develop high-value networks in and outside your field of study.
  • Develop the entrepreneurial mindset and skillset needed for a career in academia, industry, startups, or government.


Regional I-Corps/ICAP courses are for faculty, researchers, and students with technology-based innovation ideas or Intellectual Property and a strong interest in commercializing their technology. Upon applying, teams will be contacted by a Mason I-Corps Hub/Site team member regarding program acceptance. This course is free for all participants.

For general information about the I-Corps programs or questions about the eligibility of your research, email:

Sampson Addo, I-Corps Hub Program Manager

For more detailed inquiries, contact Mason’s I-Corps Director:

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