You've identified a specific innovation that you think you may want to commercialize. Now what?

This program applies the Lean Startup approach and Customer Discovery methods to specific innovations. External industry executives, as well as experts from the Office for Technology Commercialization, the UMN Libraries, and the Carlson School of Management will be available to help.

You'll learn and apply the Lean LaunchPad customer development concepts promulgated by the NSF I-Corps program. Successful completion of this program by academic teams or ventures with university-licensed technologies can lead to qualification for recommendation to the National I-Corps Teams program, which includes a $30-50,000 grant.


Workshop 1: Product-Market Fit

  • Who is the customer? Healthcare purchasing roles
  • Defining and assessing "unmet medical need"
  • Value proposition canvas

Workshop 2: Customer Discovery

  • Customer discovery methodologies: interview and observational protocols
  • How to communicate with potential customers and stakeholders
  • Project-specific customer discovery plans

Workshop 3: Pathway to Commercialization

  • FDA approval
  • Reimbursement considerations
  • Competitive landscape

Workshop 4: Market Assessment

  • Technology adoption
  • Beachhead market
  • Market sizing


  • Develop competence in customer discovery methods
  • Able to apply regulatory, reimbursement, and market potential considerations to commercialization research
  • Determine initial product/service application to a specific market, as well as longer-term market potential
  • Participants' project proposals incorporate market-facing elements expected by NIH-REACH


"The class helped us organize our thoughts, come up with hypotheses, and go out there and test the waters. Even though we are at a very [early] stage of commercialization, we have a much clearer vision of where we need to go next.”

About MIN-Corps

With support from the National Science Foundation, MIN-Corps is a joint initiative of the College of Science and Engineering, the Office for Technology Commercialization, and the Carlson School of Management’s Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship.

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