NSF I-Corps

The NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) is a set of activities and programs that prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and broadens the impact of select, NSF-funded, basic-research projects. 

Columbia Engineering Program

Columbia Engineering, in partnership with NYU and CUNY serves as the home for NYCRIN, the headquarters for the NSF Innovation Corps (“I-Corps™”) national program in NYC. Our activities support innovators by providing education in the earliest stages of venture initiation, assisting engineers in learning about the marketplace, and linking them directly to the investment community. We serve as a resource for managers of university competitions looking to expand their educational offerings, as our program can provide both content and platforms for new entrepreneurs. We are the destination for investors interested in university technology transfer opportunities and are particularly interested in matching mentors with engineering teams. In addition, we are conducting cutting-edge research into entrepreneurial team formation and successful venture launch.

Ioannis Kymissis serves as Columbia’s co-principal investigator, and the Columbia University liaison and I-Corps instructor is Ivy Schultz. We support all regional innovative organizations and have provided support for programs at other schools, including University of Connecticut, Lehigh University, and Rutgers University. Qualifying teams that participate in I-Corps Regional Node educational programs may apply for $50,000 in I-Corps team grants from the National Science Foundation. The Node will assist you in filling the team roles and will help prepare you for the intensive I-Corps team 7-week customer discovery program. For more information about I-Corps at Columbia contact us.


Are you interested in the following? 

  • Concentrated time to focus on commercialization activities
  • Build relationships with experienced entrepreneurs and investors who can help you bring your product to market
  • Identify commercial potential for your technology to increase probability of grant success and/or raising venture capital
  • Develop entrepreneurship skills and learn about business model development.
  • Engage in the customer discovery process by spending time outside the lab and talking to customers, partners and competitors.

To learn more, visit our Start Me Up Bootcamp page. 

SBIR Program

The National Science Foundation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program- also known as America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF – provides small businesses with equity-free funding to conduct research and development (R&D) work that will lead to the commercialization of innovative new products and services.