Validate Your Startup Idea and Technology through the Customer Discovery method at the Spring 2021 UC Davis I-Corps Virtual Immersive Short Course

UC Davis Venture Catalyst is collaborating with the Bay Area Node for the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps program to host the Immersive Short Course training for teams with a university connection and technology innovation based on discoveries in fundamental science and engineering.

2:00- 5:00 pm, Monday, April 25, Wednesday, April 27, and Wednesday May 4, 2022


Teams of 2-4 members comprised of university-affiliated students, staff and/or faculty working on a science or engineering innovation who want to learn more about taking a product from idea to being used out in the world.

What is it?

The Immersive Short Course training is focused on helping early-stage teams who have a fundamental technology, engineering, or business model innovation learn how search for a scalable business model through the Customer Discovery methodology.  The three online sessions will teach teams to identify and refine their Value Propositions and Customer Segments, which are essential to de-risking ideas and achieving product-market fit.  Outside of class, teams are expected to conduct at least 15 interviews with potential customers as part of the Customer Discovery process.  Participants can expect to spend 20-30 hours outside of class on interviews.

Why participate?

In addition to benefitting from the initial Customer Discover process to vet your ideas, applicable teams that complete the Immersive Short Course with instructor endorsement may qualify for the National Innovation Corps Teams program, which includes a $50k grant for customer discovery and supplemental training.  Many teams that complete the national program have a much higher funding rate, including investment and National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants, which provide up to $256k in seed capital to conduct research and development.

Next steps:

Applications for the Immersive Short Course are open through April 11, 2022.  Selected applicants will be contacted about 10 days before the first day of class to schedule a team interview call with the I-Corps instructor. Learn more about requirements & apply here!


Please contact Janine Elliott, Associate Director for New Venture Resources, UCD Venture Catalyst:  [email protected]