National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps

RIT and the Simone Center are proud participants in NSF’s I-Corps program and National Innovation Network (NIN).

NSF logoThe I-Corps program and curriculum are designed to advance early stage commercialization of products in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The program advances academic teams with the assistance of an entrepreneurial/industry coach through a curriculum that enables a robust customer discovery, business model development, and minimum viable product development process. The Simone Center and RIT are proud partners within the Interior Northeast I-Corps Hub. 

3 women working on a scientific project

NSF I-Corps Hub

RIT is proud to be an Interior Northeast I-Corps Hub partner. The Interior Northeast region stretches from New Hampshire to West Virginia is representative of large portions of the US that are largely rural, economically underserved and working to restore economic vitality. IN I-Corps aims to expand the nation’s geography of innovation by creating a cohesive innovation ecosystem that delivers inclusive models of education and workforce training designed for and by innovators in rural regions and small cities.


RIT will be joined by Hub partner institutions Dartmouth College, University of Rochester, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Buffalo, Syracuse University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Vermont, West Virginia University and Hub lead Cornell University. The Hub will regularly offer regional courses designed to support geographically-dispersed participants in learning the I-Corps method of customer discovery and applying it to real world opportunities, while still remaining connected to their home institutions and communities.

Learn about upcoming IN I-Corps courses and resources here

I-Corps Photo

I-Corps at RIT

In 2014 RIT was designated as an NSF University Site to provide "internal" I-Corps training to STEM student and faculty. Each team recieved training, a coach, and access to $3,000 to advance their technology concept.

In 2016 RIT joined forces along with Cornell University and the University of Rochester to create the Upstate NY (UNY) I-Corps Node. Through the Node we provided "external" I-Corps training to faculty and researchers through RIT and our partner institutions. 

January 1, 2023 marked the official launch of the Interior Northeast I-Corps Hub. The Interior Northeast I-Corps Hub aims to expand the nation’s geography of innovation by developing a regional I-Corps innovation network that can become a repeatable, inclusive model of education and workforce training designed for and by innovators based in rural regions and small cities.


For more information on our NSF programs, please contact Evan Vershay (