National Science Foundation Expands LSU Innovation Resources for Underrepresented
BATON ROUGE – The National Science Foundation, or NSF, has awarded LSU additional
funding to expand its successful innovation and entrepreneurship training program
by partnering with two of the nation’s top Historically Black Colleges and Universities
— Southern University in Baton Rouge and Xavier University in New Orleans.
As an NSF Innovation-Corps Site, or I-Corps Site, LSU offers intensive training programs
to provide research faculty with the tools and business skills that can bring their
next great idea to the marketplace. Through the program, teams of three comprised
of an academic lead, an entrepreneurial lead and an external mentor from the business
community gain professional guidance from LSU innovation experts in market research,
business plan development and refining innovative products and processes that spur
economic development. LSU's I-Corps site is one of eight in the U.S. to receive additional
support from NSF
to promote inclusion in entrepreneurship.
“Our goal in partnering with other local universities is to create an ongoing relationship
between the I-Corps participants and resources at their home institutions, and accelerate
business development at the local level. Entrepreneurs have a long-term impact on
the economy as future employers, taxpayers and donors,” said Brian Shedd, assistant
director in the LSU Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization and one of
the LSU I-Corps site workshop facilitators.
The LSU Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization, which administers the
I-Corps program at LSU, will customize the training curriculum to best serve the communities
at the partner institutions. The aim is to expand the entrepreneurial resources among
underrepresented minorities and women in STEM fields. The training workshops will
be held at the partner institutions with its faculty and will begin in summer 2017.
At the conclusion of the program, participants will be connected with resources at
their own institutions in order to enhance their experience and extend the runway
on their business ventures. Each team also will receive a $2,000 grant to assist in
customer discovery and product-market fit.
“This project aligns well with Southern University’s mission of creating leaders that
are innovative and creative thinkers. We look forward to working with the LSU team
in positively impacting the entrepreneurial ecosystem within our communities,” said
Michael Stubblefield, vice chancellor of the Office of Research and Strategic Initiatives
at Southern University.
NSF designated LSU as one of the 51 U.S. academic institutions it supports to foster
innovation and research that can be brought to the marketplace. Forty-seven people
have been trained through the LSU I-Corps Site to date. One team has been invited
to participate in the $50,000 national I-Corps program. Another team was recently
awarded a $225,000 federal Small Business Innovation Research grant to launch a spin-off
NSF announcement: https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=190921
LSU I-Corps Site: www.lsu.edu/icorps
LSU Office of Innovation & Technology Commercialization: lsu.edu/innovation
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Contact Alison Satake
LSU Media Relations