August I-Corps @ UC Berkeley Wrap Up

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In addition to teams from UCSC, UCSF and UC Berkeley, we had not one, but two Haas EMBA physician-led teams in this month’s NSF I-Corps!

Lida Papadopoulos (EMBA 16) is a National I-Corps alum, leading her last company (neuroFit) through the program and on to a Phase I SBIR.  She returned with a new venture–a formulary for digital health technology, co-founded by luminaries in the future-of-healthcare space.

Neal Johnson (DDS, PhD, EMBA 18) co-founded Hypnos Biomedical to solve the issue he and his colleagues have experienced when nasal intubation is needed during dental and oral surgeries. This was the team’s first exposure to I-Corps and they learned multiple lessons as they moved through their first 18 customer discovery interviews.

Early mistakes
Not asking “why” more often
Why “love it”?
Why “lukewarm”?

Listen for insights
Customer will describe their own ideal device
Flattery goes far “you’re the expert”
Humor helps when the conversation stalls

Lessons
Don’t underestimate ANY aspects of your value props (others may weigh more importance to features of the device)
Discovered new potential customer segments

What can I-Corps do for your STEM innovation?  Find out here and apply by 8/28 for our September cohort.