UAF I-Corps Program Attracts Wide Range of Innovations

April 6, 2022

Customer Discovery
Birgit Hagedorn and Jacqueline Summers conduct market research during the 2018 Lean Launch Workshop. Photo by Amanda Byrd.

Discovering the needs of your stakeholders and potential customers is an essential part of the early-stage entrepreneurial journey. Listening to their stories and evaluating how your value proposition aligns to their needs provides insight on how to bring your product to market. Center ICE runs a National Science Foundation funded I-Corps site program to provide training and support for Alaskan entrepreneurial teams on the customer discovery process.

We currently have ten teams in our I-Corps cohort. Their innovations range from airborne sensor applications to mariculture farming and from a peer-to-peer referral program to antifreeze proteins. The I-Corps program is delivered a few times each year and lasts approximately six weeks. Understanding the needs of the customer, stakeholder, or end-user is essential to evaluate the value of your solution to their specific pain points.

At Center ICE, the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Site program accelerates academic research and startup business projects that are ready to move toward commercialization. The program provides training, access to a mentor network, and funding to support you and your team in their customer discovery process.

Please contact us at or to learn more about our I-Corps program. Participants learn how to move technology out of the lab as well as business startup best practices. Your team will obtain customer feedback that will help launch your product/business or develop an evidence-based commercialization strategy.

Stay tuned for the next cohort coming in the summer of 2022. Below is a YouTube video of an event from Techstars Startup Week Alaska 2021 that has past I-Corps teams talking about the benefit that the program provided them and their customer discovery process.

YouTube Link: Learning from I-Corps teams on their customer discovery