Rep. Lipinski Praises Expansion of Job-Creating I-Corps Program (August 5, 2015)

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) is announcing the expansion of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program that teaches scientists how to turn their discoveries into job-producing businesses.  I-Corps will be expanded through new partnerships that will give more people access to entrepreneurial training, which will help them move their research from the lab to the marketplace.  Unleashing the entrepreneurial potential of these scientists will lead to economic growth, job creation, and a greater return on taxpayers’ investment in scientific research.

As the top Democrat on the Research and Technology Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Rep. Lipinski was an early supporter of the I-Corps program and was responsible for including language in NSF authorization bills that specifically authorized the activities of I-Corps.  He has also used his leadership position to encourage program participation and passed a bill expanding I-Corps to the National Institutes of Health. 

“I’m excited to see what will come from the increased commitment to this innovative program,” said Rep. Lipinski.  “I’ve been pushing more agencies to adopt the I-Corps model for years, and I’m glad to see that more government organizations see the value in this modestly priced program that will help increase economic growth and put more people to work.  I look forward to the day when more scientists will have access to the knowledge that comes from I-Corps.”

I-Corps teaches the “Lean LaunchPad” method, developed by serial entrepreneur Steve Blank, for starting a business.  This method focuses on talking to as many potential customers as possible, pivoting quickly in response to the resulting insights, building low-cost prototypes to get customer feedback, and constantly adapting.

“I-Corps wouldn’t exist without Congressman Dan Lipinski,” Blank said.  “It was his vision and commitment that made I-Corps happen.  Although it has only been in existence for a short time and limited in use, we have seen truly amazing results from the program.”

According to the NSF, more than 500 teams and 1,600 people have completed I-Corps training, so far resulting in 261 startups that have raised more than $49 million in funding from outside sources.  

In addition to the expansion of existing relationships with the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and National Institutes of Health, new I-Corps partnerships will be formed with a diverse group of government organizations, including the Department of Defense, National Security Agency, Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security, and Small Business Association.