Faculty Innovators

Faculty Innovators

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JANUARY 31, FEBRUARY 7, 14, 21 : 5:30 pm to 9 pm, CBRB 1289

APRIL 17, 24, MAY 1, 8 : 5:30 pm to 9 pm, Location TBD


The University of Iowa’s Faculty Innovators Program is a shortened 4-week version of Venture School designed to provide University faculty members with the opportunity to develop marketable ideas and accelerate the startup process. This program will give participants an introduction to the Lean Launchpad methodology and familiarize them with the Business Model Canvas and Customer Discovery. At the conclusion of the program, participants are encouraged to proceed with Venture School’s main program, or at the national level with the NSF I-Corps program.

Should I have disclosed the IP or have a patent filed prior to attending?

We strongly encourage participants to have a conversation with their Tech Transfer office and/or patent attorney prior to attending this program. There is the potential that IP information could be disclosed during the course of this program, although it is highly discouraged.

“Without the Pappajohn Center, we probably would still be sitting in that
conference room discussing our idea.”

-Kristina Thiel, Immortagen



About NSF I-Corps

NSF I-Corps is a public-private partnership program that teaches university entrepreneurs with a targeted Lean Launchpad curriculum to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research, and offers entrepreneurship training to participants.

The first and most important goal of I-Corps Sites is to encourage technical entrepreneurship and teach faculty and students how to think about commercialization. Teams should have clearly defined goals and expectations for how the program can help develop and commercialize their idea.

The I-Corps Site will provide infrastructure, advice, resources, networking opportunities, training, and modest funding (funds of up to $2,500 per team) to enable teams to transition their innovations into the marketplace or into becoming national I-Corps Team applicants. With the support and mentorship of the I-Corps Site, the teams will learn first-hand about entrepreneurship and explore the transition of their ideas, devices, processes or other intellectual activities into the marketplace.

Awards may only be used for the following expenses and all expenses are subject to approval by Faculty Innovators Faculty:

  • Acquisition of modest amounts of equipment, materials or outside support to fabricate prototypes
  • Costs associated with external consultants to support business strategy, technology development, or regulatory assistance
  • Travel expenses within North America to attend conferences, trade shows or to consult with potential clients or experts for the purpose of Discovery
  • Additional training or education related to entrepreneurial immersion or resources needed to directly advance the goals of transitioning a team’s project into the marketplace

Awards may NOT be used to offset UI employee salaries for the I-Corps team or for legal or administrative costs.

The funding will be provided after a project budget has been approved and successfully completing the Faculty Innovators Workshop curriculum requirements. Teams may receive approval from Paul Dymerski for spending on individual budget items before the completion of the course but that spending is still contingent upon successfully completing the course as well as submission of the budget. The funding is available for 6 months after completion of the Faculty Innovators Workshop.

Upon completion of the I-Corps Site program, participants are eligible to apply for the NSF I-Corps Team program (an intensive 6-week NSF training with the opportunity to be awarded a $50,000 grant) as well as many other funding opportunities.







Paul Dymerski – Director of New Ventures, UI Office of Research & Economic Development