"The NSF I-Corps program was instrumental in helping Element 16 define who our customers really were."

– Element 16

"The I-Corps tool-set of using the scientific method for customer discovery has become part of our company culture."

– Ferrologix
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Engineering VI, Room 510
404 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095

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Innovation Node
Los Angeles I-Corps


The I-Corps™ program was created by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2011 to facilitate the transitions of funded academic research to market. The NSF offers select teams from universities the opportunity to participate in a fast-paced and rigorous program that helps move products out of the lab and into the market by giving them hands-on experience with the challenges of customer discovery.

In the I-Corps™ environment, teams are pushed, challenged, and questioned to help them quickly learn whether or not their ideas are worth pursuing.

The teams — composed of academic researchers, student entrepreneurs, and business mentors — participate in the curriculum via online instruction and on-site activities at one of several I-Corps™ Nodes. An I-Corps™ team project will have three results:

  1. A clear decision regarding the viability of its products and services
  2. If the project is viable, then a transition plan for the project to move forward
  3. A technology demonstration for potential partners


The I-Corps™ network has 9 diverse, interconnected nodes:

There are also dozens of I-Corps Sites available that provide innovation teams with resources, networking opportunities, and training.


Teams that want to apply must first participate in a regional NSF-supported I-Corps™ training program. Upon completion of the regional program, a senior member of that I-Corps™ Node must recommend the team for the National I-Corps™ program. The technology underlying the effort will also need to be consistent with NSF requirements for intellectual merit and represent a significant technical innovation.

For any additional questions about our program, please consult the I-Corps™ FAQ or contact Azar Nazeri at anazeri@ucla.edu or through this form.

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