Innovation Corps

MIN-Corps, an I-Corps site

MIN-Corps is the University of Minnesota site for the National Science Foundation I-Corps program.  We provide commercialization education and coaching programs that help STEM students, postdocs, research scientists and faculty develop the skills required to translate their innovations into product and services with real-world impact.  To learn more about MIN-Corps leadership and how to contact us, click here.

MIN-Corps Results

Since 2014, 3000+ participants from 22 colleges within University of Minnesota and the business community have participated in 85+ MIN-Corps academic courses, commercialization bootcamps, value proposition design workshops, seminars and events.  The 380 innovation teams (including 26 active startups) have generated over $15 million in commercialization grants and investment funding.  Also, congratulations to the following 20 NSF I-Corps National Teams participants, which each recieved a $25,000-$50,000 grant to engage in intense customer discovery and business model design:

The I-Corps National Teams Experience

Participating in the NSF I-Corps National Teams program is seven intense weeks of exhaustion, exhilaration and "ah-ha" moments.  Each participating team emerges with a robust set of customer discovery and technology commercialization skills, as well as an assessment of their innovation's market potential and business model.  University of Minnesota teams that have completed MIN-Corps program customer discovery requirements are eligible to be recommended to the National Teams program.  

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The I Corps Teams Experience

STARTUP Participant Experience: Rakuna


MIN-Corps offers education and coaching aimed at researchers and other innovators interested in learning how to translate their discoveries and inventions to real-life impact. Programs include single-topic Lunch-and-Learns, as well as discipline-specific Value Proposition Design Workshops. We also offer MGMT 5102: STARTUP, a two credit course open to undergraduate and graduate students from any discipline who are interested in using the Lean Startup methodology to explore the market potential of their own innovation-based business concepts.

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SciPitch Brain Sharing

MIN-Corps Fellows

University of Minnesota researchers are strongly motivated to bring their breakthrough innovations to market, but lack business expertise. Carlson School of Management MBA and MS students are business-savvy leaders, many of whom are seeking meaningful entrepreneurial experiences. MIN-Corps Fellows is the Carlson School’s response to researchers seeking help to define and develop the business potential of their innovations. The process kicks off with Sci Pitch, when innovators share their business concepts with a crowd of Carlson MBA and MS students. MIN-Corps Fellows then help innovators address relevant business issues under the guidance of MIN-Corps staff, industry mentors and Carlson School faculty.