2018 is becoming our Year of I-Corps. Made possible by the National Science Foundation and a program innovation known as SBIR Phase 0.
- SBIR stands for Small Business Innovation Research
- Phase 0 prepares qualified startups for a Phase 1 SBIR grant
Our Phase 0 boot camp in January was a Customer Discovery course run by the Midwest I-Corps Node at the University of Michigan. Great experience! We discovered much about our business ecosystem and even more about our capacity to deliver.
After boot camp the Midwest Node facilitated our application to SBIR Phase 0. We’ll join the I-Corps Summer Cohort in New York City starting in July. Phase 0 includes seven weeks of intensive customer discovery and related business formation supported by the new I-Corps Go Entrepreneur Assistance program.
Boot camp convinced us that it’ll be best to start Phase 0 before it formally begins. We actually began preparing in February and will continue right up until the kickoff meeting in July. By that time we’ll have enumerated many of our critical success factors; written our business, technical, scientific, and clinical assumptions to test with stakeholders; and made a balanced, vetted list of over 100 scheduled interviews around the United States. Rather than leave New York at the end of the kickoff meeting, we’ll stay to conduct stakeholder interviews in the metropolitan area.
Two members of our team along with our industry mentor will attend Phase 0 meetings in New York and weekly online. All four founders are helping to prepare and analyze our results. One will manage the project and the process that leads Humaginarium to a December submission of a Phase 1 SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation.
Scientific entertainment. Variation on Ruhendes Madchen, by François Boucher