Carlos Romero explains his group’s concept during an icebreaker exercise at the first session of ECU’s I-Corps program. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

More than two dozen East Carolina University students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the Greenville community, have begun an entrepreneurship boot camp called I-Corps to help hone their business ideas and jump start the startup process.

The pilot program, designed to encourage and embrace the ideation, innovation and commercialization process at ECU, has received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to establish an Innovation Corps site.

I-Corps is a federal program designed to enable and prepare teams to accelerate development of ideas using its proven methodology. I-Corps @ ECU will support new venture development by building a network of ECU faculty, staff and students in partnership with industry advisors using proven approaches to innovation and commercialization.

Participants will assess their ideas for customer fit and develop new product and business models for development of sustainable start-up companies in eastern North Carolina. Innovators will have access to resources such as ECU’s Idea Lab, Innovation Design Lab, MakerBot Innovation Center and the SEED incubator.

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Originally published October 27, 2017. Written by Jules Norwood. Photos by Cliff Hollis.

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