Four representatives from Notre Dame are participating in the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program, which is an entrepreneurial boot camp that takes place in Washington, D.C. and across the country over a seven-week period.
Gregory R. Madey, Research Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, is the Principal Investigator for the project; recent Notre Dame PhD graduate in Computer Science and Engineering, Cynthia Nikolai, is the entrepreneur. Together with Page Heller, Licensing Manager in Tech Transfer, and Chelsea Treboniak of Critical Ops, LLC as mentors, they are working to bring a software training package for emergency operations centers, which are located in every county in the United States, to market.
The Notre Dame team is two weeks into the seven-week journey. Currently, they are interviewing fire chiefs, school superintendents, Department of Transportation leaders, and other emergency personnel throughout the United States as part of a customer discovery process. At the end of the seven-week curriculum the Notre Dame team will determine whether or not they will continue development of the product and formally start a company.
The I-Corps program is a government boot camp for entrepreneurs looking to start companies based on the results of NSF-funded research. Its goal is to strengthen the innovation ecosystem at both local and national levels across the country. For information about I-Corps, please see: http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/i-corps/.