Who Can Apply & Team Composition

The Polsky Center I-Corps program is an application-based program for teams working on ideas in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Faculty, students, staff, and alumni from the University of Chicago, partner institutions, and regional universities may apply for the program. Past participants have included (but are not limited to!):

  • Faculty from Departments of Chemistry, Human Genetics, Microbiology, and Radiology; Harris School of Public Policy; and the Pritzker School of Medicine.
  • Masters and PhD Students from Departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Chemistry, Genetics, and Radiology; Division of the Humanities; the Booth School of Business; and Harris School of Public Policy.
  • Researchers from Argonne National Laboratory; the Computation Institute; Departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Human Genetics, Medicine, and Microbiology; and the Harris School of Public Policy.
  • Alumni from the Booth School of Business and the College.
  • Cofounders from the Illinois Institute of Technology Institute of Design and the University of Illinois at Chicago

Chicago Booth Student Eligibility:
Current students from the Booth School of Business are encouraged to apply to the I-Corps program only if they are working directly with a scientist/researcher from the University of Chicago or other academic institutions, or if they have their own patented technology. Looking for a class that’s similar to I-Corps? We recommend the following great courses: Entrepreneurial Discovery, Entrepreneurial Selling, Building the New Venture, and Lab in Developing New Products and Services

Team Composition

It is required that participants apply to this program as a team of at least two people. We do not recommend that teams apply with more than four participants. Typically, teams consist of:

  • At least one scientific or technological expert who is responsible for the team’s idea (“the academic lead”);
  • At least one student, alumni, or post-doctoral fellow interested in conducting entrepreneurial research and directing group efforts (“the entrepreneurial lead”). The entrepreneurial lead may or may not have prior business experience, but is committed to leading or organizing team activities during the I-Corps Program.

The Polsky Center can help facilitate team formation in order to match people with different experiences onto teams. For more information on how to form a  team for I-Corps, contact Meghan Kinney. Remember, all team members are required to attend the four I-Corps program classroom sessions.