MIN-Corps is the University of Minnesota hub for technology innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization.
We provide education and coaching programs that help STEM students, postdocs and faculty develop the skills required to translate innovations into product and services with real-world impact.
MIN-Corps is a joint effort of the Technological Leadership Institute in the College of Science and Engineering, the Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship in the Carlson School of Management, and Technology Commercialization office in the Office for the Vice President for Research.
We are a partner institution in the NSF I-Corps Great Lakes Region Hub.
Since 2014, thousands of participants from 22 colleges within University of Minnesota and across the business community have participated in hudreds MIN-Corps academic courses, commercialization bootcamps, value proposition design workshops, seminars and events. The 500+ innovation teams (including 46 startups) have generated over $50 million in commercialization grants and investment funding. In addition, MIN-Corps has successfully nominated 34 teams to the national NSF I-Corps Teams program, with each team receiving a $25,000-$50,000 grant to engage in intense customer discovery and business model design. For more information about the University of Minnesota's participants in NSF I-Corps Teams cohorts, click here.
Participating in a NSF national I-Corps Teams cohort is seven intense weeks of exhaustion, exhilaration and "ah-ha" moments. The program includes a $50,000 grant to cover grad student/postdoc stipends as well as customer discovery costs. 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.
What does it take to qualify for I-Corps Teams?
MVP or “Minimum Viable Product” is a tool to show customers and key stakeholders how your innovative idea could work, capture feedback, and bring your concept one step closer to reality.
Each year, the MVP Challenge awards up to 30 grants from $100 to $5,000 in three divisions: Physical, Social, and Digital.
A Huge thank you to Protolabs for Making the MVP Challenge a resounding success! We are immensely grateful to Protolabs for their invaluable support in bringing our vision to life. Their expertise and dedication played a pivotal role in capturing the unforgettable moments of the Founders Day celebration of student innovation on May 10th, 2023. Watch their video to relive the incredible journey of these talented young innovators!