Back to Blog March 29, 2017 in

NextEnergy Launches Fourth Annual I-Corps Energy & Transportation Program!

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NextEnergy’s I-Corps Energy & Transportation Program offers a customized curriculum to help teams of participating researchers discover the commercial potential of their technology, build a business model, and garner insights from leaders in the energy and transportation industries. Selected teams have a chance a being recommended to the National I-Corps program where they will work through the entire business model canvas and receive a $50,000 grant.

MVCA member, NextEnergy, is hosting its fourth cohort of innovators to participate in its training program, I-Corps Energy and Transportation. Participants will be heading to a premier industry event to conduct most of their customer discovery activities, allowing them to establish strong relationships, and dig deeper into customers’ wants and needs (and pain). So, in addition to coordinating meetings with potential customers local to the Detroit area, or within easy access of their home base, they will be able to connect with a captive audience, comprised of customers from across the ecosystem, and representing a more diverse geography.

Energy teams will be heading to the Smart Cities Connect Conference & Expo, June 25-28, 2017, in Austin Texas to connect with smart city leaders representing over 200 cities across the US who will be seeking innovative solutions.

Transportation teams will attend the CAR Management Briefings Seminar, July 31 – August 3, 2017, in Traverse City, Michigan to connect with executive management from OEMs and suppliers along with others from the automotive and mobility ecosystem focused on issues impacting the industry.

“The I-Corps curriculum has always approached customer discovery as a critical step in successfully commercializing energy and transportation technology. The importance of conducting this discovery early in the process is one of the reasons it is such a vital component to a program specifically geared toward university researchers and early stage companies,” said NextEnergy President and CEO, Jean Redfield in organization’s recent blog post

NextEnergy CEO & President, Jean Redfield
NextEnergy CEO & President, Jean RedfieldWho Should Participate?

Who Should Participate?

  • University and national lab researchers, including post-doctoral and graduate (PhD) researchers
  • Corporate researchers interested in spin-off
  • Research and development-focused entrepreneurs

Why Participate?

Investigate and communicate the commercial potential of your technology

  • Learn how to transfer your knowledge and IP into commercially viable products and processes attractive to industry, federal government, and investors
  • Acquire business tools that will help position you for federal and private funding opportunities, strategic licensing arrangements, or new company creation

Expand your network

  • Gain in-depth exposure to industry, entrepreneurs, investors, federal government, and economic development professionals
  • Collaborate with others and learn best practices ranging from new funding sources to working with industry on collaborative R&D

Develop a deeper knowledge of your market and customer

  • Engage in an intensive, world-class curriculum that places you directly in touch with potential customers
  • Participate in highly interactive, expert-led, market and technology discussions

Important Dates:

  • Application Deadline: Tuesday, April 18
  • Winners Notified: Friday, April 21
  • Kick-Off Sessions: Tuesday, May 9 and Wednesday, May 10

For more information on I-Corps Energy & Transportation, and to apply, visit

About NextEnergy

Founded in 2002 as 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, NextEnergy is one of the nation’s leading accelerators of advanced energy and transportation technologies, businesses and industries. NextEnergy drives technology demonstration and commercialization; delivers industry and venture development services; and provides an authoritative voice in the public sector. Since its inception, NextEnergy has helped attract more than $1.5 billion of new investment, including programs in excess of $160 million in which NextEnergy has directly participated. For more information, visit