MIN-Corps offers many options to explore innovation commercialization.  Scroll down past the calendar or click on any of the following:  NSF I-Corps: From Lab to ImpactInnovation Commercialization Bootcamps - Value Proposition Design Workshops - STARTUP - Emerging Opportunities from Partners - Strategy Clinics - Women Innovators Conference 

NSF I-Corps: From Lab to Impact

This free two-hour seminar introduces the Lean Launchpad methodology that was developed at Stanford to translate university innovations into successful licensed products and ventures and has been adopted as “I-Corps” by NSF, NIH, and other federal agencies. Includes an overview of MIN-Corps programs, as well as University of Minnesota commercialization resources.  Check back for 2020 programs.

Innovation Commercialization Bootcamps

Your research shows promise not only for advancing knowledge but also to help make things better for people, governments, businesses, and/or the environment. You are curious about commercialization, but you're not sure where to start or even what questions to ask. This bootcamp will give an overview of what you should think about and what resources are available to you. Topics include:  Identifying Commercializable Technologies, Intellectual Property & Tech Transfer, Product-Market Fit Intro, Market Assessment Intro, Commercialization Milestones, Innovator/Academic Roles in Commercialization, Commercialization Resources. Each session will include a panel of innovators sharing their commercialization journeys. Free to university-affiliated participants, $50 for nonacademic participants.  Check back for Spring 2020 programs.

Value Proposition Design Workshops

Four hands-on sessions:  product-market fit, customer discovery, pathway to commercialization, market assessment. For university-based teams, NSF-funded grants (up to $3,000) are available for customer research. Successful completion by academic teams can lead to nomination to the I-Corps National Teams program, which includes a $50,000 grant. These workshops are also valuable for innovators planning to apply for SBIR/STTR grants.  Sessions include individual mentoring and advice from industry executives and entrepreneurs.  Program is free to academic partipants, $999 for non-university participants.  These workshops are designed to explore the potential commercialization of specific innovations.

Oct 16, Oct 23, Nov 6, Nov 20
1:00-4:00 East Bank campus
Register HERE

Science & Engineering 
Oct 17, Oct 24, Nov 7, Nov 21
1:00-4:00 East Bank campus
Register HERE

Agriculture Food & Environment 
Oct 18, Oct 25, Nov 8, Nov 22
9:00-noon St Paul campus
Register HERE

StartUp: Customer Development and Testing

STARTUP: Customer Development & Testing (MGMT 5102) is an experiential 2-credit course for UMN undergrad and grad students interested in pursuing their own entrepreneurial ventures.  Students apply lean launchpad methods to test their value proposition and receive recurring feedback from instructors and mentors. Participating students are eligible to receive seed capital grants up to $3,000 to fund prototype development and customer discovery.

Apply here.

Strategy Clinics

Dinners where current and future science and tech entrepreneurs share a meal, hear from experts, share their challenges, and seek advice. Strategy clinics are open to all prior MIN-Corps program participants, as well as innovators actively engaged in commercialization and launching a startup.  Free to students, staff, faculty and university spinouts, $10 for non-academic participants.  All clinics are on the East Bank Campus, 5:30-7:30.  Box supper included. Register HERE. 

Pitching 101 

September 10

Startup Financials

Rescheduled to Spring

 Marketing & Customer Development

Rescheduled to Spring

Investor Terms & Expectations

December 3 

Emerging Opportunities from Partners

MIN-Corps is part of a rich ecosystem of commercialization resources.  Here are upcoming programs from our collaborators and partners, all free and open to the public.



SBIR/STTR Accelerator

The SBIR/STTR Accelerator Application enables us to assess if the SBIR/STTR programs are good fit for your technology development effort.  Based on our years of knowledge and experience in the SBIR/STTR programs, we will evaluate whether your proposed project shows promise of commercial and/or societal impact and involve a level of technical risk that is required to be competitive in the programs.Based on our assessment, we will approve your participation in the cohorts that align with your project (up to two people per company).  Click here for more information.

Upcoming cohorts:

National Institues of Health 1/9/2020 – 4/5/2020
National Institues of Health  6/4/2020 – 9/5/2020
National Science Foundation  3/3/2020 – 5/30/2020
National Science Foundation 7/7/2020 – 9/30/2020
Department of Defense 5/1/2020 – 6/17/2020

Holmes Center Logo

Early Stage Startup Funding
This panel session will revolve around some of the key tactics and resources concerning funding. Based on your product and business model, various funding options may be appropriate, including SBIR/STTR and other grants, bootstrapping, angel investors, loans, and (occasionally) venture capital.

  • Nov 26 4:00-5:30 Carlson School of Management
  • Click here for registration and info.


Minnesota Innovation Corps Fellows

The University of Minnesota has scientists, engineers and medical practitioners who engage in breakthrough research and are strongly motivated to bring their breakthrough innovations to market, but lack business expertise.  The Carlson School of Management has business-savvy MBA and MS students who want meaningful entrepreneurial experiences.  Combining these talents and skills can help bring more inventions out of the lab to the market. 

The MIN-Corps Fellows program starts with Sci Pitch, when innovators will pitch their business concepts to a crowd of Carlson MBA and MS students curious about becoming MIN-Corps Fellows.  Each pitch describes the technology, its commercial potential and the business issues that concern the innovator.  Carlson students then circulate to meet the innovators and discuss how their business skills could add value.  Business teams are formed around each innovator.  MBA teams work with innovators through the spring semester.

Sci Pitch took place on Nov 5, 2019. 2019-2020 MIN-Corps Fellows teams are now being formed.

Women Innovators Conference

The annual Women Innovators Conference is a professional development summit designed to help female innovators connect the dots between their ideas and achieving a positive, significant impact. This event will inspire, inform, and connect women students, faculty, and business professionals in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine (STEMM) to strengthen and extend the diverse talent pool of women innovators in the Twin Cities.

Our fourth annual conference will take place on November 13, 2019 from 12:30 pm - 6:00 pm.  

The 2019 conference will kick off with "Innovation at the Speed of Laughter," an opening session led by Brave New Workshop, followed by an Applied Design Thinking workshop and two panels, "Translation: Insight to Real Life Innovation" and "Zigzag: Innovation Career Paths."  The event will close with Angie Conley, Founder, President, and CEO of MN Cup 2019 Grand Prize-winning company, Abilitech Medical.

Online registration is now closed.  Walk-in registration available 12:30-1:00 at McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak Street SE, Minneapolis MN 55455