Life Science Super Regional Program @ MD Anderson Cancer Center
Spring 2020

Southwest I-Corps is offering a regional NSF I-Corps program to facilitate the commercial evaluation of academic research and innovation relating to the life sciences, including medical devices, diagnostics, digital health, and therapeutics. The program will develop eligible teams for the national NSF I-Corps program and a $50,000 I-Corps team grant. During the program, teams will be introduced to the fundamental I-Corps principles, helping teams explore the potential value of their research or innovation, and quickly and effectively validate their commercialization strategy.

The I-Corps Process

Customer discovery is an iterative process of physically getting out of the building to interview potential customers and stakeholders to understand their problems and pain points in the market and in society. These interviews, or experiments, lead to real-world learnings and insights that validate or invalidate key components of the business model, often leading to pivots.

This course is about getting out of the building. It is not about the lectures. You will be spending a significant amount of time outside the building, talking to customers and testing your hypotheses about what customers want in products and services. We will spend class time on what you learned from talking to customers, not what you already knew coming into the course.

What You’ll Learn

Teams will be introduced to the I-Corps approach, learning about business model development and the customer development process. Teams will also spend time outside the building talking to customers, partners and competitors. At the conclusion of the program, teams will present their findings from the customer development process and receive real-time feedback from the I-Corps teaching team.

Team Composition

Students, faculty and staff interested in translating their innovation and research into commercial ventures are encouraged to apply.

Interested teams must meet the following criteria:
•  At least two, but no more than four founding members per team
•  Technical proficiency of research or innovation
•  Right to practice intellectual property

When & Where

Tuesday, March 31, 2020  •  12:00 – 1:00 PM  •  Pre-Opening Meeting for Entrepreneurial Leads (virtual)
Monday, April 13, 2020
  •  5:00 – 7:00 PM  •  Welcome Reception (in person; Houston)
Tuesday, April 14 – Wednesday, April 15, 2020
  •  All Day  •  Opening Workshop @ MD Anderson Cancer Center (in person; Houston)
Thursday, April 23, 2020  •  1:00 – 4:00 PM  •  Virtual Session (virtual)
Thursday, April 30, 2020  •  1:00 – 4:00 PM  •  Virtual Session (virtual)
Tuesday, May 5, 2020  •  All Day  •  Closing Workshop (in person; Houston)

All team members are expected to attend in-person classes and virtual office hours, and be working virtually on the dates in between (there are no in-person classes or webinars on those dates not listed above).

Learn More

MD Anderson Cancer Center
Jean Gilbert  •