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Stony Brook University Innovation Boot Camp 2021

The Long Island Innovation Boot Camp was initiated at Stony Brook University fourteen years ago, to help evaluate the commercial readiness of a new technology - to help propel ideas into creation.  On September 20, 2021, the annual event resumed after a year off due to COVID. Under new guidance by a professional I-CORPS team delivering the lean-launchpad program, selected start-up teams worked virtually over a ten-day period, which included three full days with instructional workshops and homework.  The teams worked alongside experienced patent attorneys, business professionals, MBA students and the professional I-CORPS team and were hands-on through a series of modules structured to probe the commercial potential of a technology, ending with presentations to a panel of entrepreneurs and early-stage investors.

“The bootcamp provides teams some initial guided real-world practice of how to go about customer discovery and a crash course in all areas of the business model to develop through continued discovery and development,” said Heidi Anderson, CEBIP Client Manager and one of six teaching coaches. “If teams continue, no doubt some will discover there's even a greater solution they can bring to the market. That's when it gets really exciting!”

What the teams got from the I-Corp boot camp was an experiential learning opportunity to help them determine the commercial readiness of their technology; the basis for a go/no go decision on commercial viability; a prospective transition plan to move the technology forward to market; and the possibility for a nomination to the NSF I-Corps Teams National Program that offers a $50,000 grant. The researchers/inventors walk away with the answers to two threshold questions: can this technology become a saleable product, and do I want to be the entrepreneur who builds a company around it.

"The Stony Brook Teaching Team developed the model for the Innovation Boot Camp based on the SBA/SBIR/STTR Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Business Model Canvas (BMC) Commercialization methodology. It focused on six company teams engaging/researching/interviewing potential customers to confirm their Value Propositions were on target," said Bob Harrison, MBA/CPIM - NYS Certified Business Advisor Specializing in Manufacturing who has over 30 years of operating experience at four Long Island manufacturing companies including a profitable start-up enterprise. "We are excited for the teams as they proceed in both business development and product/service commercialization using the skills/methodologies learned."

“It's always wonderful to see strong academic and scientific teams begin to understand the business aspects of bringing a technology to market,” concluded Anderson.  “The delusion of ‘ build it and they will come’ begins to dispel. Understanding what information to gather and how to gather that (information) is critical.”

The NSF I-Corps has trained more than 3,745 individuals in 1,315 teams from 271 institutions that have created 644 companies and gotten $301M in funding. To learn more about the 2021 program or to inquire about future Boot Camps, click here.