2022 I-Corps@Ohio Request for Proposals

Applications for the 2022 cohort are now being accepted.

DEADLINE to apply is January 16, 2022, at 11:59pm.


Who Can Apply?

I-Corps@Ohio funds will be offered on a competitive basis to teams of faculty researchers and graduate students developing institution-based technologies from Ohio colleges and universities. Under the supervision of business and entrepreneurial mentors, teams will develop market-driven value propositions and scalable business models around their technologies and attract follow on funding to support company formation and market entry.

Application Process:

Registration, Timeline, and Proposal Preparation Instructions

The I-Corps@Ohio proposal submission process consists of five steps:
  1. mandatory meeting with the appropriate TTO representative(s) at the PI’s institution;
  2. team selection of technology track (science and engineering or medtech);
  3. registration of all team members in the online portal;
  4. proposal submission; and
  5. full team interview with I-Corps@Ohio program representatives.

The online profile and submission questionnaire will open in mid-November 2021. Deadline to apply is January 16, 2022 (11:59 PM).  The PI may complete this information or designate another member of the team as the lead member. Subsequent members of the team will be invited to join by the lead member through the application portal and must complete his or her profile.

Every effort should be made to identify all team members prior to submitting the online proposal submission questionnaire. Additional team members may be added later. You will be asked to select from two tracks:

Medtech Track: Teams will select Medtech Track if the subject technology is in the form of medical devices, diagnostics, medicines, vaccines, software, testing procedures and systems and is developed to solve a health/clinical problem and improve the quality of human life.

Science and Engineering (S&E) Track:  Teams will select S&E Track if the technology does not fit into the Medtech category.

Requested information for each track is listed in the RFP. The I-Corps@Ohio Selection Committee will review each proposal submission to determine if it qualifies for I-Corps@Ohio funding. All teams will be notified of their status after the committee review is complete.  Teams that are eligible for further review will be notified and required to complete an interview process with I-Corps@Ohio program representatives. All team members are required to be present for the interview which may be online or in person.

Team Composition

Teams: An I-Corps@Ohio team should be established prior to the deadline to submit proposals and identified by team member role in the proposal. If you need assistance in completing your team, first seek aid from your institution’s technology commercialization team. If you are unsure of whom to contact, please reach out to Nikki Modlich at

An I-Corps@Ohio team consists of at least three participants fulfilling the following three roles.
  1. Principal Investigator(s)
  2. Entrepreneurial Lead(s)
  3. Executive/Entrepreneurial Mentor(s)

The Principal Investigator(s) (PI) must be an employee (faculty, staff, or graduate student) at an eligible Ohio university or college with a strong passion to see his/her invention commercialized. The PI is primarily responsible for overall grant management and assisting the entrepreneurial lead with completing weekly customer interviews and preparing weekly team presentations. Attendance at the customer discovery interviews is strongly encouraged.

The Entrepreneurial Lead(s) (EL) is typically a post-doctoral scholar or graduate, undergraduate, or community college student with relevant knowledge of the underlying technology and a strong commitment to pursuing the commercial entrepreneurial opportunities. There may be more than one EL on the team and I-Corps@Ohio encourages teams to include graduate business students, in addition to graduate STEM students as EL. The EL is responsible for leading the due diligence during the customer discovery process and presenting the lessons learned each week during the training program. EL(s) conduct most of the customer interviews and capture the lessons learned in the project management tool. The I-Corps@Ohio program highly encourages teams to select EL members that are potentially capable of commercializing the technology if the team can validate the commercial opportunity during the training program.

The Executive/Entrepreneurial Mentor(s) (EM) is typically an experienced or emerging entrepreneur or industry leader with experience in new venture startups, new product development and/or commercializing technology out of universities. The EM may be but is typically not a member of the research institution. The primary responsibility of the EM is to coach, guide, and mentor the team through the challenging search for a repeatable and scalable business model on which to launch a start-up company around the subject technology. The EM is also expected to share contacts with the team for customer interviews and to participate in interviews as much as possible. Furthermore, the EM is expected to regularly communicate with the I-Corps@Ohio instructional team and program staff regarding the progress of the team. I-Corps@Ohio is especially interested in an EM that is passionate about the technology, has strong interests in participating in the commercialization of the technology, and has relevant experience in launching new ventures or similar roles in industry. If the proposing team does not have an EM, the I-Corps@Ohio program staff may be able to assist with finding a suitable person to serve in that role, including members of the national NSF I-Corps network.

Intellectual Property: The technology the team seeks to commercialize is typically based on concepts, patent (issued or filed), copyrights or trade secrets owned and held by the PI or by an Ohio institution of higher education, including universities, colleges, and community colleges.

No Previous I-Corps Award: Teams that have already received funding from the I-Corps@Ohio program or NSF national I-Corps Teams program are not eligible for funding from the I-Corps@Ohio program for the same technology. Teams that have participated in a comparable regional I-Corps program, any NSF I-Corps Sites program or any other university or community-based accelerator or similar training program are eligible for funding from the I-Corps@Ohio program for the same technology or others.