UCF I-Corps program is partnering with local regional incubators, accelerators and other organizations supporting entrepreneurs, as Community Affiliates, to provide education programs combined with intense coaching and mentoring services to early-stage technology entrepreneurs.
The first community affiliate to offer the acclaimed National Science Foundation’s (NSF) I-Corps Lean Startup program to high-growth entrepreneurs in Central Florida is Starter Studio.
Starter Studio was launched by Gregg Pollack, founder of Envy Labs and Code School, as a passion project to help tech startups in Orlando thrive. Starter Studio provides education, mentorship, legal and financial resources, networking opportunities, and the right culture to help innovative solutions grow. Ninety-day accelerator classes are offered for aspiring tech startups. Currently, the third class is preparing for graduation.
“The partnership with UCF gives our Starters additional support to grow their new venture. Participating in the UCF I-Corps program opens up the opportunity to apply for the National NSF I-Corps program as well as SBIR/STTR grants,” said Pollack, founder of Starter Studio.
As a Community Affiliate, organizations such as Starter Studio, will receive training and support from UCF on delivering a tailored version of the Lean Startup education, as well as access to software and other tools for providing the various program elements.
“We are pleased to have Starter Studio as our first UCF I-Corps Community Affiliate. This is the first step towards our goal of offering this proven program through a premier network of affiliates to university researchers and technology entrepreneurs throughout the region,” said Ivan Garibay, program director for UCF I-Corps.
Local area entrepreneurs selected for the program, receive I-Corps seed grant funds along with other legal and financial services offered by the Community Affiliate. The I-Corps funds are applied to business, market, or early product prototype development. UCF was awarded the NSF I-Corps grant in November 2014 for a three year timeframe. Plans are in process to support the program through the network of affiliates beyond the period of the grant.
“This is an example of UCF as ‘America’s Partnership University’. We have shown that contributing like this to the entrepreneur ecosystem in Central Florida benefits the entire economy through increased high-wage jobs and wealth creation”, added Thomas O’Neal, founder/director of UCF I-Corps and the UCF Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Meanwhile, Starter Studio is preparing for its demo night on April 14th where each team from its accelerator class will showcase their work.
For more information about UCF I-Corps, please visit icorps.cie.ucf.edu or contact Ivan Garibay at [email protected] or via phone at 407-882-1163. Information about Starter Studio visit starterstudio.com.