WRITER: Lauren Goldstein
Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University was awarded a three-year, $300,000 grant last week for the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Sites program. I-Corps is a National Science Foundation (NSF) initiative to leverage university research to create new innovative businesses and increase the economic impact of inventions created at research institutions around the country.
NMSU is one of only 51 academic institutions nationwide to be selected as an I-Corps Site. Other I-Corps Sites include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, Carnegie-Mellon University, Purdue University, UCLA, University of Pennsylvania and other top research institutions.
As an I-Corps Site, NMSU will be able to offer Aggie I-Corps, a five-week program for NMSU students and faculty interested in creating innovative startups. The program allows for $60,000 to be awarded to teams of NMSU students and faculty annually for the life of grant. Teams completing Aggie I-Corps can also gain eligibility to the National NSF I-Corps, which includes a $50,000 award per team. NMSU had five teams win National NSF I-Corps awards in 2015 and seeks to increase the number of winners with the addition of the I-Corps Site.
The main goal of Aggie I-Corps is to produce successful startup businesses and foster commercialization of innovative research. Studio G Director Kramer Winingham will manage the I-Corps Site and the Aggie I-Corps program.
“As an I-Corps Site we will be able support the great innovations from NMSU students and faculty by providing funding, training and access to follow-on opportunities to bring their innovations to market,” Winingham said. “The I-Corps Site is a huge win for NMSU and Arrowhead – it will serve as a critical piece in the pipeline for economic development in the region.”
Arrowhead Center was created to be an engine for sustainable economic development, ultimately improving quality of life in the state of New Mexico. Under Arrowhead, Studio G was created as NMSU’s Student Business Accelerator to help students start businesses. The recent growth of Studio G – now serving over 150 student entrepreneurs working on more than 80 ventures – was a key factor for NMSU to be selected as an I-Corps Site.
“This competitive federal grant represents the recognition of the critical importance of innovation in the economic future of our nation, and of the readiness of NMSU to be a major contributor to commercialization and student entrepreneurship,” said Kathy Hansen, director of Arrowhead Center.
To read more about the NSF I-Corps Sites, Teams, and Curriculum, visit nsf.gov/news/special_reports/i-corps/. For those interested in getting involved with I-Corps, please fill out the interest form at arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/icorps.