NSF I-Corps Innovat'R Workshops

At UC Riverside, the EPIC offers introductory training workshops to entrepreneurs as part of the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps program (NSF I-Corps). We call this 7-week program "Innovat'R Workshops” and utilize the Lean Launchpad methodology to evaluate product-market fit for each participant’s “product” or “service”. By interviewing customers, and other stakeholders, each participant defines the individual customer(s) for their offering and the “values” that the offering provides to the customer to justify a purchase.

If you have an innovative idea or technology and want to increase the chances of successful commercialization, UCR’s NSF I-Corps workshop series is for you.

  • Dedicated Mentorship: Receive 1:1 mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs who will guide you through the Lean Launchpad methodology to see if your idea has market potential.

  • Transferable Business skills: Sharpen presentation skills, learn basic business concepts and how to effectively present your idea or technology to non-technical audiences.

  • Expanded Network: Connect with fellow innovators, industry experts, and potential customers, partners, investors, and stakeholders to validate your idea or technology through interviews.

  • Access to Funding: Receive up to $3,000 to interview customers. Upon completion, qualify for $50,000 in additional funding from the NSF and secure special preference for Proof of Concept grant funding of up to $35,000 through the Office of Technology Partnerships.

Find out more at one of our info sessions:

April 2, 2019

Campbell Hall, Room 104


NSF I-Corps Site

In August 2017, the University of California Riverside was awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps Site status and $500k to provide in-house commercialization training to UCR faculty, students and staff.

Innovat'R Workshop Program

This 7-session program introduces the Lean Launchpad methodology and focuses on identifying and understanding the “customer” and their requirements. This is developed from data that the participants generate through direct, face-to-face customer interviews. Interviews are required of all teams each week of the program. The program is focused on the market (customer's needs) and not technologies.  It also introduces business concepts such as competition, market size and analysis, intellectual property protection and storytelling.

Participation requires approximately 8 hours/week of effort by the team members to participate in the weekly workshops, conduct customer interviews, complete weekly homework, meet with mentors/instructors and prepare presentations. 

Expected Outcomes:

• NSF I-Corps Teams program ($50,000 grant)

• Proof Of Concept Grant(s) (up to $35,000 grant)

• ExCITE Incubator Residency

• Wet Lab Incubator Residency



Topics include:

•Why companies fail, and how to avoid it

•Identifying customers

•Define customer’s needs/pains and tailor your product to address them

•Learn how to effectively communicate your business to outsiders


Up to $3,000

Spring 2019 Cohort:

Tuesdays: April 23, 30, May 7, 14, 21, 28

Final presentations on June 4

6:00-8:00 PM

(Food and Networking: 5:30 – 6:00)

Deadline to apply for Spring Cohort:
Sunday, April 7, 2019

For more information about the Startups for Innovators workshops contact:


900 University avenue

Riverside CA 92521


T: 951-827-7941

F: 951-827-4483

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