The I-Corps training is focused on helping early-stage teams who have a fundamental technology, engineering, or business model innovation learn how to search for a scalable business model through the Customer Discovery process.

There are two types of I-Corps training, both based on our National Faculty Director, Steve Blank’s Lean Startup methods.

The immersive short course, taught by UC Berkeley faculty, is a 1 week program where you’ll learn how to conduct interviews to gain customer feedback and define your customer segment. There is no cost to the course, and UC Berkeley postdocs who participate may be eligible for a $5,000 grant through PostX.

Short course teams must have between 2-4 members, and the technology must have a current or recent University or National lab connection.

After you complete the short course, you may be eligible to continue to the National I-Corps Program, a 7 week course that comes with a $50,000 customer discovery grant.

Immersive Short Course


3hr sessions held Mon – Wed – Mon

15 customer interviews

Within a 1 week period


Upon completion and recommendation

APPLY for the next Immersive Short Course starting November 1, 2021 online via Zoom. Applications due October 15, 2021

Apply here

Please fill out the application in entirety. If you have any questions about the application, use the Contact Form at the bottom of the site.

2021 planned start dates:

Winter SpringSummer Fall
Jan 25Apr 12Jul 19Oct 4
Feb 22May 10Aug 16Nov 1
Mar 8 Jun 14Sep 13Nov 29

Short Course Program Team Eligibility

2-4 people

Business and Technical Lead (Mentor optional)

20 – 40 hours

Commitment during program week


Of all 3 sessions

Teams Must:

  • Be open to learning through the Customer Discovery process
  • Be willing to fail or succeed as a team.
  • Have a high tolerance for uncertainty
  • Able to describe the customer value proposition without revealing IP

National Course

(for current NSF grantees or Immersive Short Course completion + recommendation)

$ 50k Grant

Non dilutive grants for customer discover activities

Flexible Cohorts

Rotating App + courses around the year

Boot camps

3+2 days at beginning + end of course

Video Sessions

5 bi-weekly sessions between bootcamps

More info & schedule here: I-Corps Curriculum

Benefits of both courses include learning techniques for using Customer Discovery and the Customer Development process to rapidly evaluate the business potential of technologies and ideas.  Teams should reach a go/no go decision by the end of either course. Course structures also facilitate personal connections to the faculty, mentors and other team members in the program.

Case Study

UCB PhD Eric Munsing shares his experience with NSF I-Corps training here.