NSF I-Corps

Ventureprise Charlotte Launch is a multi-week high intensity, focused effort for innovators and inventors to determine if an idea is worth pursuing.

Through a combination of learning workshops, high impact presentations, numerous potential customer interview and guided mentoring, entrepreneurs and innovators will.

  • Learn and actively engage in the critical customer discovery process. 
  • Establish valuable connections with potential customers, investors, mentors and other entrepreneurs, through the program workshops, presentations, customer visits and office hours. 
  • Collaborate with other participating teams, the teaching team and members of the Charlotte Startup community. 
  • Ultimately emerge with an executable business model or no-go decision. 

To submit an application or for questions about the program, please contact Devin Collins, Co-Principal Investigator, at Devin.Collins@uncc.edu

Eight-Week Program 

Entrepreneurial Leads will be required to participate in eight weeks of programming required 5 to 6 hours per week. Additionally, they will spend 3 to 5 hours per week completing approximately 30 customer interviews prior to the end of the program

Eligible Ideas

Eligible ideas will be developed primarily by UNC Charlotte students and faculty. Proposed ideas and technologies must be in a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field. This may include but is not limited to proposed ventures related to physical sciences, life sciences, software, informatics, energy, metrology and others.


Each team will be made of at least one Academic Lead and Entrepreneurial Lead. We welcome teams with multiple Entrepreneurial leads. Ventureprise will assist in team formation if needed.

  • Academic Lead: A faculty member at UNC Charlotte.
  • Entrepreneurial Lead: An undergraduate or graduate student, post-doctoral researcher, other student or professional staff, with relevant knowledge of the technology and a deep commitment to investigate the commercial landscape surrounding the innovation.
  • Business Mentor: Each team selected into the program will be assigned a mentor with entrepreneurial or commercialization experience. A selected team can use their own identified mentor upon approval of the Ventureprise staff. 

Team Selection

The Ventureprise Charlotte Launch program is offered three times annually and is limited to 10 to 12 teams per cohort. 


Teams will be expected to make a commercial viability decision at the end of the program. Successful completion makes teams eligible for additional NSF opportunities including the $50,000 NSF I-Corps Team program. The commercialization insights developed will enable teams to create compelling applications for multiple funding opportunities such as:

  • $50K NSF I-Corps Team
  • $200K NSF PFI: Air TT
  • $150K NSF SBIR Phase I
  • $750K NSF SBIR Phase II
  • $500K NSF SBIR IIB
  • $50K+ Charlotte Venture Challenge and Pitch Day
  • $50K NC IDEA Grant
  • $50K Venturewell Student e-team Program​

Applications and Information

To submit an application or for questions about the program, please contact Devin Collins, Co-Principal Investigator, at Devin.Collins@uncc.edu or 704 687-8058.


Devin Collins

Associate Director of Ventureprise
Portal Building Suite 252
9312 Robert D. Snyder Rd
Charlotte, NC 28223