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Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development

NSF I-Corps Program

In 2016, the National Science Foundation named Jackson State University as an I-Corps Site to provide the infrastructure, advice, resources, networking opportunities, training and modest funding enabling JSU faculty and students to transition their work into the marketplace or becoming NSF I-Corps Teams.

In January 2023, JSU joined the MidSouth I-Corps Hub led by Vanderbilt University continuing its efforts in research translation from the lab to the market. The I-Corps program uses the Lean Start-Up Methodology to nuture and support three-member teams (Faculty Lead, Entrepreneurial Lead and Mentor) to transition their ideas, devicises, processes or other intellectual activities into the marketplace. This program is available to all institutions of higher learning in the state of Mississippi.

Objectives of the JSU I-Corps Program

(1) Offer entrepreneurial training and development opportunities for faculty and student teams in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines to prepare them for participation in the NSF I-Corps or for further commercialization;

(2) Broaden the participation of underrepresented, specifically African American, faculty and students in STEM and entrepreneurial training and development by recruiting from within a minority serving institution;

(3) Build the capacity of faculty and students to explore the translation of academic research into tools, products, services, etc. that are favorable candidates for commercialization.

Eligibility Requirements:

To be selected as participants in the JSU I-Corps training program, you must apply as a three-member team comprised of the following members:

  • An Academic Lead (STEM or SBS faculty);
  • An Entrepreneurial Lead (undergraduate or graduate student); and
  • A team mentor (a faculty member in Business, STEM, or a community member with business background).

Benefits of Participating:

  • Formal training in the NSF process of commercialization and customer discovery;
  • A mini-award of $3,000 to support the team’s development, discovery, and commercialization efforts;
  • Valuable experience in translating scientific research findings into innovative products and services and networking with mentors;
  • A formal JSU Innovation and Entrepreneurship Professional Development Certificate of Completion;
  • An opportunity for additional support in submitting applications to the NSF I-Corps for Learning Program ($50K grant) to support further product development and commercialization;
  • Participating in I-Corps increases your chances of receiving SBIR funding.

Expectations for Participation:

The teams selected will be expected to participate in the following activities:

  • In-person and online training that emphasizes the role of entrepreneurship, customer discovery and the business model canvas in the journey towards commercialization;
  • Customer discovery interviews and presentation of the team’s findings;
  • The culminating Academic Entrepreneurship Networking and Engagement Session.

Apply here 

If you have questions about participation, please contact:

Dr. Almesha L. Campbell, Principal Investigator
Tel: 601.979.6347


Mr. Latane Brackett, III, Innovation Program Manager
Tel: 601.979.2101



What Is I-Corps?

Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development


1400 John R. Lynch Street
Jackson, MS 39217-0280

Phone: 601.979.2241