Led by leaders of innovation at ECU and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, I-Corps @ ECU will enable interested faculty, staff, postdocs, students and friends of ECU to identify business, research and social challenges or opportunities by learning and exercising Human Centered Design Thinking skills in fluency, flexibility and resiliency. I-Corps teams will assess their ideas using nine principles of the Business Model Canvas. These include Customer Segments, Value Propositions, Channels, Customer Relationships, Revenue Streams, Key Resources, Key Activities, Key Partners, and Cost Structure. At the conclusion, teams will have built a Business Model Canvas that validates a Go/No Go decision for proceeding to a business plan.
I-Corps @ ECU is available to any faculty, staff, postdoc, student, or friend of ECU in any discipline. I-Corps@ECU utilizes three phases to help innovators succeed in addition to a Basics course that is designed for those new to innovation and business. Phase I is designed as a two day bootcamp open to any interested individual or team to learn the fundamentals of ideation development and the Business Model Canvas. Phase II is open for graduates of Phase I or new participants with sufficient data to test a hypothesis. Phase II consist of a team at least three individuals – an entrepreneurial lead, a faculty advisor and a mentor. Team mentorship will be provided by faculty and staff of the Office of Innovation and New Ventures, the College of Business, the Miller School of Entrepreneurship and other university entities. Phase III teams have achieved a Phase II go-decision and will be allowed to continue the process in the safe harbor environment of the Idea 2 Impact network. Although non-STEM projects are welcome to join the I-Corps program, priority for Phase II and III training is given to STEM discipline projects. In addition, Phase II funding is only available for STEM related projects. Experienced entrepreneurs may mentor any team in any discipline.
The program utilizes the Lean LaunchPad method for assessing entrepreneurial ventures by getting out of the building to talk with customers. Lean LaunchPad is a proven model adopted by many academic institutions, as well as the NSF for its I-Corp National projects and nodes. Lean LaunchPad will be augmented with Udacity videos and other available proven resources. Finally, resources at the Innovation Design Laboratory will be available to build simple 3D models as a method of engaging the customer in the discovery process.
Marti Van Scott
Director, Licensing and Commercialization
Associate Vice Chancellor, Millennial Campus Development and Partnerships
Director, Miller School of Entrepreneurship
Associate Professor, School of Art and Design
Director, Industry and Economic Development
Assistant Dean, Innovations and Strategic Initiatives
Teaching Instructor, Miller School of Entrepreneurship
Licensing Associate, Licensing & Commercialization