USD I-Corps

Accelerate university researchers' entrepreneurial skills through I-Corps training, enhancing tech transfer speed and societal impact.


Accelerate Research Commercialization with USD's I-Corps Program

Does your groundbreaking research hold significant commercial potential?  The University of South Dakota's I-Corps program offers a 5-week intensive course designed to bridge the gap between the laboratory and the marketplace.  This program, an extension of the by the National Science Foundation's Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) Great Plains Region, equips researchers with the critical skills and knowledge needed to translate scientific discoveries into commercially viable solutions.

Program Benefits

  • Market Validation:  Gain a comprehensive understanding of your target market and the commercial viability of your research through rigorous customer discovery activities.
  • Strategic Development:  Develop a clear and actionable go-to-market strategy, identifying the most effective channels for reaching your target audience and achieving commercial success.
  • Investor Readiness:  Master the art of communicating the value proposition of your research to potential investors and partners. Our program hones your presentation skills and helps craft compelling narratives to secure funding for your innovation.

Focus on Customer-Centric Innovation

Unlike traditional research, which often emphasizes theoretical exploration, USD's I-Corps program fosters a customer-centric approach. Through real-world customer interviews and market research, you'll gain crucial insights into the needs and challenges of your target audience. This valuable data allows you to refine your technology and tailor it to specific market demands, ensuring it delivers a solution that resonates with your customers.

Ready to turn your idea into reality? Apply to USD's I-Corps Program!

This program is open to anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit and a concept they believe has market potential. But to participate in the National I-Corps training after completing our Regional Training, you'll need to assemble a strong 3-5 person team.

  • Technical Lead:  This is your resident expert, typically a faculty member who invented the technology or a postdoctoral researcher with deep knowledge of the core technology area. They'll act as the Principal Investigator (PI) for the project.
  • Entrepreneurial Lead:  The driving force of your team! This role is often filled by a graduate student or postdoctoral researcher who is passionate about commercializing your concept and will lead the team forward.
  • Industry Mentor:  Round out your team with an industry expert who brings valuable business and entrepreneurial experience. Ideally, this individual should be independent of the technology development and your team to offer unbiased guidance.

Apply to I-Corps

**Apply by Thursday, May 30th to secure your spot. 

For more information, contact Kirby Fuglsby.


The exterior of the GEAR Center during the day on Sioux Falls' campus.

Summer 2024 Cohort Dates

This hybrid course can be attended virtually or in person at the USD GEAR Center: 4800 N Career Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57107. 

Program Dates (All times listed in Central Time)


  • Thursday, June 13: 9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 20: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 27: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 11: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 18: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Faculty & Staff

Get to know the faculty and staff in the I-Corps program.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Daniel Engebretson

Daniel Engebretson

Vice President for Research & Sponsored Programs
Bio Image for Faculty Member Brian Burrell

Brian Burrell

Bio Image for Faculty Member Kirby Fuglsby

Kirby Fuglsby

Technology Transfer Officer
Bio Image for Faculty Member Gregory Bertsch

Gregory Bertsch

Assistant Professor of Practice


Entrepreneurship/ Small Business Admin,Management