Published: March 10, 2019 By

Participants at last year’s Starting Blocks received expert feedback to help them hone their business model and pitches. CU’s Commercialization Academy is excited to introduce a new Research-to-Market program for technologists looking to take their idea to market. Based on the National Science Foundation's eight-week I-Corps programs, R2M was developed as a collaboration between Colorado State University and the Department of Energy, and it is now coming to the CU campus for the first time.

Through lectures, workshops and interviews with industry professionals, R2M participants will learn the process of customer discovery. The material is very similar to our weeklong Starting Blocks program but provides a more intense learning opportunity. This one-minute video (from Starting Blocks) gives a good overview of the program. Participants come away with a much better sense of whether to invest their time and resources in a startup.

The R2M teaching team is experienced at pushing technologists to redefine how they think and talk about their work. CU is bringing in these experts specifically for R2M. Workshops are intense and packed with good information on translating technical ideas to commercialization opportunities.

Scientists and engineers enjoy the R2M lectures and workshops because they gain a sense of how the business works, but actually getting out of the building to talk to industry experts to solve their problems is truly transformative. In fact, 85 percent of all PIs who attend the NSF iCorps program say that it changed or improved their research. R2M provides the opportunity to connect with mentors and advisors in their target industry to share ideas and look for potential longer-term support. Many CU startups have realized the profound benefit of developing a business relationship with a mentor who can navigate the path to market.

If you have a technology you want to take to market, consider applying! Even if you want to license your ideas and spend more time inventing than building a venture, this program will enhance your research focus based on industry feedback you receive.

Applications opened March 1 and will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Contact Sally Hatcher at for more information.