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Ready to unlock the full potential of your research? Join the I-CorpsTM Starting Blocks Customer Discovery Workshop—by Venture Partners—designed for innovators motivated to translate their research, get funding and make a lasting impact. Starting Blocks equips researchers, creators, engineers and scientists from any research institution with the tools and resources needed to bring their innovations to those in need and enhance their competitiveness for funding. Over three weeks, gain a deeper understanding of the commercialization process, develop a solid foundation in business concepts and accelerate your journey toward commercialization. 

Ready to go further? Starting Blocks can be a great step before participating in the Research-to-Market (R2M) Customer Discovery Program and the  National I-Corps Teams Program.

Program Components

  1. Interactive and engaging virtual workshops on understanding and empathizing with end-users and key partners. The program equips participants with the knowledge and skills to create a compelling impact case and to successfully bring their invention to those who need it.

  2. Ten targeted interviews with people who could use or benefit from the invention, to better understand and test assumptions about their needs and challenges.

  3. Weekly office hours with experienced staff to provide guidance and support.

Program Benefits

  1. Gain a deeper understanding of the commercialization process and the importance of understanding the needs of potential partners or customers.
  2. Develop a solid foundation in business concepts and terminology, allowing you to communicate your vision and value proposition to potential users and partners effectively.
  3. Accelerate your journey towards commercialization by learning from experienced instructors and staff.
  4. Increase chances of securing grants and partnerships by presenting a well-researched and validated business or impact case.


Unless noted, Starting Blocks takes place virtually via Zoom and is free for all participants.

Who is eligible?

Our I-CorpsTM programming is available to all deep tech innovators from any research or teaching institution. If you are in another demographic and would like to see if you are eligible, please contact our Program Director, Emily (Klein) Vogt, at 

Apply Now