Economic Impact

Driving entrepreneurship through collaboration

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is part of a National Science Foundation hub aimed at moving university research into the real world.

Nebraska joined NSF’s Great Lakes Innovation Corps Hub, formed in 2021 with the goal of reimagining the lab-to-marketplace pipeline and equipping technical leaders with skills, networking opportunities and an entrepreneurial mindset.

Including UNL, the collaboration includes 16 universities in nine states and is one of 10 regional hubs across the country.

The hub and its member institutions offer campus entrepreneurs a range of training opportunities. Brad Roth, president and executive director of NUtech Ventures and associate vice chancellor for technology development at UNL, said the hub’s programming builds on the university’s existing startup ecosystem, particularly the Nebraska Introduction to Customer Discovery program, a campus entrepreneurship training initiative.

It is led by NUtech, the university’s technology commercialization affiliate.

“Our ICD program includes large group training sessions taught by NSF I-Corps-trained instructors, featuring interactive course content, group practices and other tools designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs evaluate the risks and rewards related to their business plans,” Roth said. “We want to set up our participants for success.”

To date, N-ICD has drawn more than 180 participants and propelled three Husker teams to the national I-Corps program.

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News release: Nebraska U joining NSF Great Lakes Innovation Corps Hub