LSU I-Corps Site Process
1. An individual or a team submits an application which may include the following roles:
- Academic Lead – The technology lead, potentially a faculty member or student inventor/creator
- Entrepreneurial Lead – Someone motivated or interested in taking the technology forward
- Business Mentor – Could be someone unaffiliated with LSU who has business experience and can serve as a mentor
In many cases, the team is not fully formed, which is ok. The administrators will work with each team to fill out all the roles and identify leads and mentors as needed. A technology or at least an idea for a potential product or service is required for participation. For students who are interested in participating but do not have a technology or idea, there is a separate application form. Wherever possible, students will be combined to form a team.
2. Selection committee chooses up to 15 applicants per program cohort loosely based on:
- Team and Commitment – The I-Corps Sites program seeks participants with an interest in entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. This includes a willingness to talk to non-scientists about your technology, develop hypotheses on how the technology might be developed into a product, and work towards technology development (rather than basic research) grants. Experience is a plus, but not a requirement.
- Intellectual Property Strength – Since a technology or at least an idea for a potential product or service is required for participation in the program, the intellectual property position will be considered by the selection committee. A patent or copyright is not required, but the willingness to explore these options is necessary to participate in I-Corps Sites.
- Technology Strength – I-Corps Sites deals mainly with early stage technologies in need of some level of validation. The committee will look at research or development to date that would indicate likely success, and at the technology’s potential to be applied to more than one application or to fit very well into the proposed application.
- Commercial Potential/Applications – The committee is looking for a thoughtful, and plausible, explanation of how the technology might be turned into a saleable product. Much of the program is dedicated to testing your hypotheses about commercialization. However, strong applicants will have basic ideas about what a product would look like, who would buy it, and who their competitors would be.
- Fit with I-Corps Program – The first and most important goal of I-Corps Sites is to teach faculty and students how to think about commercialization. Teams that are enthusiastic about technology commercialization and have clear goals that fit synergistically with what is taught in the program will be favored. The committee will also look for teams with testable hypotheses regarding how their technology could be commercialized.
3. Team completes the program focused on:
- Overview - Basics on technology commercialization, patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets.
- Technology Transfer - Patenting, licensing, identifying customers, developing a value proposition, I-Corps Teams.
- Technology Commercialization - Market research, finding licensees and identifying startup opportunities.
- Funding Sources - I-Corps Teams, LSU LIFT2 Program, LSU LBTC Incubator, and SBIR/STTR.
4. Team makes a go/no-go decision on pursuing commercialization.