From Invention to Impact: I-Corps at Mason
George Mason University researchers are constantly working to serious real-world problems. For these academic discoveries to have the greatest possible impact in the shortest span of time, they would have to be brought out of the lab and into society at scale. A highly efficient vehicle for this is commercialization.
However, the start-up ecosystem and academia can be very different worlds. Good entrepreneurs may have difficulty translating scientific insights to the marketplace. Academics are often motivated by the pure love of science and may struggle to identify viable commercial opportunities.
The National Science Foundation (NSF)’s I-Corps program is an accelerator that helps entrepreneurs and researchers work together “to bring invention to impact.” The program consists of both financial support and experiential education designed to fast-track the commercialization of scientific discoveries.
Mason serves as an official I-Corps site, supporting local grantees through the exploratory stages of venture-building, as well as preparing them to apply for the national-level program. The current site grantees are David J. Miller, director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the School of Business, and Ali Andalibi, senior associate dean of the College of Science.