AccelerateGW I-Corps Site Program

In addition to being part of the DC I-Corps Node, in 2016 the George Washington University was selected to be one of the newest I-Corps Sites designated to educate faculty, students and the community on entrepreneurial principles. We also seek to help faculty and students answer important commercialization questions directly applicable to state and federal grant programs, as well as to support in identifying industry partners and potential licensees. 


NSF Announcement of GW I-Corps Site Award



Participants in the AccelerateGW I-Corps Site program will be expected to complete the GW Regional Introductory Course which requires that they attend two workshops in person during a two-week period, each one approximately six hours long.  In between there will be class assignments, customer discovery, and office hours with instructors that may take about 10 hours per week.  For teams that intend to pursue the NSF National I-Corp Teams program after the GW course, there may be additional work to complete to meet the requisite customer discovery expectations.

The program is a significant commitment.  It is critical that teams are eager to learn about Lean Startup, Business Model Generation, Customer Discovery, and Commercialization. The program is not just about receiving an I-Corps Site Grant Award.

By the end of the program, participants will:

  • Learn the key concepts of business model generation and customer discovery
  • Develop and test hypotheses about your business model
  • Engage with key stakeholders in your ecosystem
  • Complete a business model canvas
  • Engage with the GW Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Learn the landscape of I-Corps programs regionally and nationally, and the common follow-on funding programs for which I-Corps participants are eligible


Customer Discovery/Travel Stipend

AccelerateGW I-Corps Site Grants are intended to be used to facilitate Customer Discovery. Allowable expenses include:

  • Travel Expenses to consult with potential clients or experts as well as to attend relevant training. Travel costs are the expenses for transportation, lodging, subsistence, and related items required to meet with industry experts and prospective customers.
  • Meetings and Conferences:  Costs of meetings, trade shows, and industry conferences are allowable. This includes the cost of meals, transportation, registration fees, and other items incidental to attending such meetings or conferences.  Note that attendance at industry conferences and trade shows is encouraged, but expenses related to attendance at academic conferences are not allowable.
  • On rare occasions, Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Development is allowed with pre-approval.  Funds may be used for acquisition of modest amounts of equipment or materials needed to fabricate MVPs in support of additional customer discovery. Funds may not be spent on MVPs until teams have completed the Site program, refined their canvas, and engaged in at least 50 interviews with potential customers. In general, we discourage the development of prototypes.

Teams may not use I-Corps Site funds for legal or administrative costs.

Alcohol is strictly prohibited for reimbursement and may not appear on any receipt submitted for reimbursement.

NSF I-Corps Brand