UNH, Dartmouth receive $300k grants to stimulate entrepreneurship
Innovation Corps program aims to support ideas’ commercial potential
‘We want more UNH ideas in the marketplace and more UNH startups,’ says Marc Sedam, managing director of UNH Innovation.
The University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College have received three-year, $300,000 Innovation Corps site grants from the National Science Foundation aimed at fostering entrepreneurship on campus and supporting innovations developed there from idea to commercialization.
They are among 45 other U.S. institutions to receive the designation as an I-Corps Site.
UNHInnovation (UNHI), which is primarily responsible for entrepreneurial co-curricular activities and technology commercialization at UNH, will host the site in Durham. Dartmouth's Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer (OETT) and the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network (DEN) will operate the Hanover site.
UNH officials said that at least 30 potential I-Corps teams will be trained each year.
There, faculty researchers and trainees will be able to jump in at any point to explore the commercial potential of their discoveries through:
• Exposure to a four-week Lean LaunchPad course focusing on the principles of customer discovery and value proposition
• A 10-week Lean LaunchPad course with exposure to the business model canvas, a tool that helps outline the position that ideas fit within a market, highlighted by regular interviews with potential customers
• A demo day to showcase ideas
• Twice-yearly “Sandpits,” where multiple subject matter experts are invited to an open discussion on a general topic to promote interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary conversations.
“Execution of this program means more than simply providing resources to the current innovation ecosystem,” said Marc Sedam, managing director of UNHI and associate vice provost of innovation and new ventures. “It means a redesign of the ecosystem, which will increase interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary collaboration throughout UNH’s $110 million research portfolio and connect researchers to resources that will help them reach the economic and social potential of their discoveries. We want more UNH ideas in the marketplace and more UNH startups. The I-Corps award validates UNH as a place where commercialization of big ideas is supported and encouraged.”