UIVentures and JPEG have started a four evening workshop series to introduce faculty, post-docs, graduate level inventors to the first steps in commercialization. Faculty Innovation Workshops focus on the first Lean Innovation concept of Discovery. The goal is to get out of the building and talk with potential user and purchasers of their discovery. This series if targeted specifically for high technology medical, engineering, healthcare innovations. Teams completing the workshops receive $1,500-$2,500 awards. A company need not be incorporated to participate.
FIW prepares the teams for for the NSF and NIH national level I-Corps training. In this program the teams dive deeper into Discovery, interviewing 100 people who are their target users, approvers, and buyers. Teams receive $50,000 for attending this six week program. SBIR/STTR submissions by I-Corp graduates have shown to be more successful. A company need not be incorporated to participate.
The state of Iowa has introduced the Proof of Commercial Relevance Fund to build upon these two programs by offering up to $25,000 for market validation by Iowa based Startups. This is idea for new ventures seeking third-party validation of market size, FDA requirements, or to confirm their business model. A company needs to be incorporated to participate.