Innovation Center

NSF I-Corps Site

In 2016, the National Science Foundation named Jackson State University as an I-Corps Site. The purpose of the I-Corps Site is to provid 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. The I-Corps Site 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.

Objectives of the JSU I-Corps Site

(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 Site 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 (JSU undergraduate or graduate student); and
  • A team mentor (a JSU 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 $2,000 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: 601.979.1815


What Is I-Corps?