Teaching the Teachers

NYU-Poly is joining in a consortium with the City University of New York and Columbia University to establish a regional node for the National Science Foundation’s groundbreaking Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program, which prepares academic researchers to become entrepreneurs and speeds the commercialization of their research.

The New York City Regional Innovation Node (NYCRIN) will educate the academic technologists and connect them with entrepreneurial and business partners. Applicants will be selected by the NSF from around the country. (Participating teams must have conducted NSF-funded research that resulted in intellectual property/patents with the potential to be commercialized.)

If it seemed natural for the NSF to turn to New York City—given its unique combination of world-class universities, venture capital investment resources and the nation’s fastest growing technology startup culture--it was even more natural that the group include Poly, since business incubators and accelerators have long been a key engine of the school’s strategy of innovation, invention and entrepreneurship. (Since 2009, graduates of the incubator program have raised $40 million in capital, created some 450 jobs and employed 300 student interns.)

The NYCRIN will embrace a “learn by doing” philosophy of entrepreneurship training and emphasize ideas central to the Lean Startup methodology, whose aim is to found frugal, capital-efficient organizations with a low burn rate.