Apply here: https://judithsheft.wufoo.com/forms/q1c5l6g06cllno/
Research over the past 46 years on STEM innovation and entrepreneurship by Association for Women in Science (AWIS) and other organizations demonstrates that women entrepreneurs face organizational, cultural, implicit bias and inclusion challenges. The current program, a partnership between NSF, NJIT I-Corps site and AWIS New Jersey chapter, is a pilot platform with nationally scalable potential. The program will provide opportunities to recent New Jersey female PhDs to serve as entrepreneurial leads to commercialize their own ideas/products or academic intellectual property.
Through NJIT NSF I-Corps site, the NJIT School of Management and NJ Center for Innovation Acceleration, selected participants will be provided specialized training and mini grants of up to $2,000 to teams with a female lead.
- Teams will learn the lean start up methodology – an approach that has significant advantages over traditional business planning / new product development approaches.
- The teams will get out of the building and spend time talking to potential customers to discover how the technology could effectively ‘solve’ customers’ unmet needs or pain points.
- The teams will make connections with experienced entrepreneurs and investors that can lead to potential follow-on support or collaboration.
Who is eligible:
This 3-month summer pilot I-Corps accelerator program is for teams led by recent female NJ PhDs or Post Docs in the life sciences area. All team members should be available to participate for the entire 3-month program.
- A female entrepreneurial lead (PhD or Post Doc that graduated or completed Post Doc within the last 5 years)
- An academic lead researcher/advisor (faculty member)
- A business mentor with significant entrepreneurial business experience.
The NJIT I-Corps Program Managers (Dr. Michael Ehrlich and Ms. Judith Sheft and AWISNJ representative Dr. Kamana Misra) will provide assistance to complete teams as necessary. You must have at least 2 team members identified to apply.
Deadline for Submissions: April 16, 2018
Interviews of Finalists: Week of April 23, 2018
Announcement of Awards – May 1, 2018
Program Session Dates (Friday’s 9am – 2pm)
May 18, 25
June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29,
July 13, 20, 27
Demo Day July 25th 6pm -8pm
Expectations over Grant Period:
Attendance at the weekly acceleration session for the entrepreneurial lead is mandatory. There are video lessons, written assignments, and quizzes to help you keep on track.
Teams will also be expected to get out of the building/lab and to interview prospective customers. Interview best practices and samples are posted in Moodle. Funding will be released in conjunction with this learning activity.
We expect teams to advance the commercialization of their ideas and reach a GO/NO GO Decision.
Next steps for a GO decision could include an application for a $50,000 NSF I-Corps Grant, Submission of an SBIR application for $75,000-150,000, Submission of a NSF PFI-AIR-TT grant for $200,000, Pitches before Angel Investors, or other Steps.
QUESTIONS? Please Contact:
Dr. Michael Ehrlich – NJIT School of Management and Co-Director of the NJ Innovation Acceleration Center - firstname.lastname@example.org
Judith Sheft Co- Director of the NJ Innovation Acceleration Center - email@example.com (973 596 5825)
Dr. Kamana Misra, AWIS New Jersey Chapter, firstname.lastname@example.org