COLORADO-CORPS

Colorado-Corps is a National Science Foundation funded grant program that supports customer discovery efforts for entrepreneurs at Colorado State University.  The program is designed to provide travel funds for entrepreneurs to participate in and complete customer discovery interviews, based on the Lean Launchpad methodology.  The technology transfer unit, in collaboration with the Institute for Entrepreneurship, offers a Research to Market Program (R2M) based on the NSF I-Corp model, to train researchers in effective customer discovery methods.  Perspectives from Founders that have participated in the R2M or NSF I-Corps Programs are provided in the videos below.

Interested individuals may apply for grant funds through two gateways – The Institute of Entrepreneurship in the College of Business and CSU Ventures.

Stories from Founders that have participated in the Research to Market Program

Good To Know

What is Colorado-Corps?
Colorado-Corps is the Colorado State University (CSU) site for the National Science Foundation I-Corps (NSF I-Corps) program.  Colorado State University was awarded a National Science Foundation Innovation Corps Site or “CSU Site” in 2018 that leverages our nationally-recognized energy innovation ecosystem to catalyze and accelerate entrepreneurship and innovation across the CSU system and along the Front Range of Colorado. The objectives of this I-Corps Site are to stimulate the translation of research into products and services, train more faculty and students to understand innovation and entrepreneurship, and contribute to the National Innovation Network of mentors, researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors by increasing the number of students and faculty exposed to the Lean Launchpad training methodology. 
Elements of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem at Colorado State University

Colorado State University Innovation Network graphic

CCIA – Colorado Cleantech Industries Association; COB – College of Business; COB-IE – College of Business Institute for Entrepreneurship; COGA – Colorado Oil & Gas Association; CO-OEDIT – Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade; CSU – Colorado State University; CSU-V – CSU Ventures; EI – Energy Institute; Govt – government; OVPR – Office of the Vice President for Research; VC – Venture Capital.

Figure 1: A detailed view of the Colorado-Corps innovation ecosystem partners.Colorado-Corps leverages existing innovation assets including: a) formal coursework in technical entrepreneurship; b) use of faculty and student organizations to assist in team recruitment; b) application of seed funds, commercialization events, and start-up challenges to recruit teams into Colorado-Corps; c) experienced faculty start-up ambassadors/mentors; d) the customer discovery Research-to-Market accelerator program (R2M); and e) a committed external support network consisting of a technology incubator, multiple Colorado industry associations, state government, and several venture capital funds. 

Internal Partners

To strengthen CSU’s innovation ecosystem and ensure widespread participation, the CSU Site Leadership Team engages and integrates several groups into the team recruitment and training processes (shown in green in Fig. 1).

External Stakeholders

To broaden the CSU Site’s regional impact, it leverages and continues decades of collaboration between Technology Transfer Offices at the University of Colorado – Boulder, the Colorado School of Mines (CSM), and CSU, which have led to a continual sharing of best practices and resources across all four institutions. Specifically, the CSU Site will train self-funded and self-mentored teams from other research universities. The CSU Site also leverages and strengthens these and other relationships through regular and active engagement with external stakeholders who participate in CSU Site annual meetings. The Site Leadership team updates external stakeholders on team and cohort development, specific industry mentorship needs, and post-CSU Site support needs of more mature teams and associated start-up companies. In turn, external stakeholders have committed to providing advice and mentorship to both the CSU Site itself and associated teams aligned with their respective missions and business interests.

Customer Discovery - the Research to Market Program at Colorado State University

Colorado-Corps training module builds upon the Research-to-Market accelerator program (R2M) developed by CSUV in collaboration with EI and the Colorado Cleantech Industry Association (CCIA). The six-week program combines core elements of NSF I Corps Customer Discovery program and USDOE Energy I Corps training into a unique program tailored to the specific needs of CSU and its partnering institutions. Colorado-Corps trains three cohorts of CSU faculty and/or student teams annually along with self-funded teams from the other research universities each year.  Each CSU team – consisting of an entrepreneurial lead, business lead, and industry mentor – receives on average $2,000 (actual allotments will be based on a Site Leadership Team’s review of each team’s needs), and must: a) participate in a two full-day introduction to the Lean Launchpad business development process, b) attend three webinars, c) conduct 35 customer interviews, and d) attend a two full-day closing session during which they must deliver a detailed workflow landscape, value chain, supply chain, and mature Business Model Canvas. Colorado-Corps engages an extensive external support network to identify and engage team mentors and serves as a resource for start-ups emerging from the Site on topics such as strategy, financing, management, and deal structure.

Learn More – R2M Program at CSU

Previous Cohorts - Team Leadership

Team Leads are from CSU, unless otherwise noted

Cohort 8:  2022 (@CSU)

  • Garret Miyake, Department of Chemistry
  • Marcela Henao-Tamayo, Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology
  • Raymond Goodrich, Infectious Disease Research Center; Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology
  • Steven Dow, Department of Clinical Sciences
  • Travis Bailey, School of Advanced Material Design, Departments of Chemical & Biological Engineering, and Chemistry
  • Stephen Ahn, RDFlows, University of Colorado
  • Susanta K. Sarkar, Department of Physics, Colorado School of Mines
  • Nicolas Anzellini, Cardiost, University of Denver

Cohort 7:  2021 (@CU-Boulder)

  • Diego Pons, Department of Anthropology & Geography
  • Jorge Rocca, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Mario Marconi, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Charles Henry, Department of Chemistry
  • Carson Bruns, Mecanical Engineering, Chromopraxis, University of Colorado
  • Bob Scribner, Respirogen, University of Colorado
  • Jerome Hittle, Amplified Space, University of Colorado
  • Cory Pecinovsky, Polaris, University of Colorado – Anschutz Medical Campus
  • Julee Herdt, Architecture, BioSIPs, University of Colorado
  • Lise St. Denis, ATLAS Institute, University of Colorado
  • John Burroughs, Benevolent Robotics, University of Colorado
  • Shaz Zamore, ATLAS Institute, University of Colorado
  • Matassem Abdallah, Civil Engineering, University of Colorado – Denver
  • Tassa Saldi, TUMI Genomics, Biofrontiers Institute, University of Colorado
  • Cami Uzcategui, Materials Science & Engineering, University of Colorado
  • Alessandro Roncone, Computer Science, University of Colorado
  • Nakul Sridhar, Biomedical Microfluidics Lab, University of Colorado

Cohort 6:  2021 (@CSU)

  • Thomas “Tod” Hansen, Department of Biomedical Sciences
  • Sanjay Rajopadhye, Department of Computer Science
  • Chris Ackerson, Department of Chemistry
  • Brian Geiss, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology
  • Keith Paustian, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences
  • Iannis Minas, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
  • James Folkestad, School of Education
  • Jay Ham, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences
  • Claire Tucker, Department of Clinical Sciences
  • Tim Vaughn, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Shu-Wei Huang, Department of Electrical, Computer & Energy Engineering, University of Colorado
  • Sarah Schoonraad, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado
  • Ben Toms, Intersphere
  • Dustin Ramsay, Sarus

Cohort 5:  2020 (@CSU)

  • Christian Puttlitz, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Charles Henry, Department of Chemistry
  • Gregg Dean, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology
  • Hua Yang, Department of Animal Sciences
  • Mostafa Yourdkhani, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Raj Khosla, Department of Soil & Crop Sciences
  • Steven Dow, Department of Clinical Sciences
  • Tod Clapp, Department of Biomedical Sciences
  • Thomas “Tod” Hansen, Department of Biomedical Sciences
  • Todd Bandhauer, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Vladyslav Cherpak, Department of Physics, University of Colorado
  • Anushree Chatterjee, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado
  • Prashant Nagpal, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado
  • Owen Hildreth, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

Cohort 4:  2019 (@CU-Boulder)

  • Andre Dozier,  Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Keith Paustian, Department of Soil & Crop Sciences
  • Greg Newman, Natural Resource Ecology Lab; Director, Citsci.org
  • Joel Basken, Arpeggio Biosciences, University of Colorado
  • Nicholas Kellaris, Artemis, University of Colorado
  • Omer Tzang, Boulder Wavefront Shaping, University of Colorado
  • Grant Buckingham, Catamaran Labs, University of Colorado
  • Zach Newman, Octave Photonics, University of Colorado
  • Wei Tan, pGraft, University of Colorado
  • Greg Formosa, Robotic Endoscopy Solutions, University of Colorado
  • Majid Zamani, Safe Autonomy, University of Colorado
  • Alex Mulvaney, ShineOn, University of Colorado
  • Christopher Vargo, socialcontext.ai, University of Colorado
  • Cameron Dotts, Technical Universal Group, University of Colorado
  • Jeanne Barthold, Tissue Form, University of Colorado
  • Laila Marzall, TSM Microwave, University of Colorado

Cohort 3:  2018 (@CSU)

  • Garret Miyake, Department of Chemistry
  • Jay Ham, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences
  • Susan James, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Ron Tjalkens, Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences
  • Tiezheng Tong, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Chris Ackerson, Department of Chemistry
  • Tiana Magee, Department of Biomedical Sciences
  • Susanta K. Sarkar, Department of Physics, Colorado School of Mines

Cohort 2:  2018 (@CSU)

  • Todd Bandhauer, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Elaine Carnevale, Department of Biomedical Sciences
  • Eugene Chen, Department of Chemistry
  • Seth Donahue, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Amanda Guth, Department of Clinical Sciences
  • Ray Goodrich,  Infectious Disease Research Center; Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology; PhotonPharma, Inc.
  • Susan Bailey, Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences
  • Chris Snow, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • Jorge Rocca, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Carmen Menoni, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Cohort 1: 2017 (@NREL)

  • Mark Schleiger & Thomas Reilly, Access Sensor Technologies
  • Arun Kota, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Asma Hanif, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Todd Bandhauer, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Kyle Benne, Dan Macumber, Michael Leahey – National Renewable Energy Lab
  • Dane Christensen, Scott Carmichael, Rob Sewell – National Renewable Energy Lab
  • Michael Guarnieri, Calvin Henard, Bill Schafer – National Renewable Energy Lab
  • Calvin Mukarakate, Nolan Wilson, John Aikens – National Renewable Energy Lab
  • Susan Habas, Fred Baddour – National Renewable Energy Lab