Oklahoma State University is one of eight universities that make up the United States National Science Foundation (NSF). OSU’s Cowboy Technologies and the NSF’s Innovation Corp (I-Corps) helps researchers turn papers and lab reports into real technologies.

“Cowboy Technologies, OSU’s technology commercialization arm, works with 30 developing technologies per year in the NSF I-Corps program,” said John Nickel, Cowboy Technologies assistant director. “Participation in this program creates a pathway for teams to apply to NSF’s $50,000 National I-Corps program, providing them with further opportunities for advancement and support.”

The main priority of NSF’s I-Corps program is to train researchers to focus on commercial aspects of their technologies in order for them to become entrepreneurs. The program is divided into four sessions that focus on discovering customers and understanding the value that technology brings to those customers

“At Cowboy Technologies, we consider the I-Corps program essential for the development of licensed technologies or startup companies,” Nickel said. “We require participation for all our developing technologies, as confidently identifying a customer and their needs at the outset is crucial to long-term success.”

I-Corps is dedicated to helping researchers develop entrepreneurship skills and share their technologies throughout a wide array of markets. I-Corps provides funding, training and resources – like coaching feedback and 30 discovery interviews – to help these researches reach such lengths in the market.

“For over a decade, this immersive, entrepreneurial training program has helped thousands of NSF-funded researchers develop the skills necessary to identify market opportunities for discoveries that emerge from their work,” NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan said. “Having been part of the I-Corps program myself, I know firsthand how impactful this can be. I-Corps training empowers the entrepreneurial spirit and makes it possible to turn laboratory results into new devices, products and services that can serve the needs of people throughout the nation.”

Those who participate in the program are able to receive up to $3,000 in stipends and reimbursable travel funds to support their customer discovery activities.

I-Corps is dedicated to those who wish to be a part of the program by providing knowledgeable insight about entrepreneurship and helping individuals’ technologies breach the market.

Published by Oklahoma State University on July 27, 2023.