September 26, 2023
Three teams of students have completed the new UMD I-Corps Internship Program, through which they analyzed the commercial potential of specific University of Maryland-licensed technologies.
Launched through the UMD I-Corps Program, in partnership with xFoundry and UM Ventures, the nine-week, paid internship guided students in evaluating technologies through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) process for successfully commercializing technologies, including customer discovery, market research, design thinking, licensing and intellectual property, technology development road-mapping, acquiring funding, and logistics.
Technologies analyzed, along with the student teams, included:
Teams were expected to establish a "go" or "no-go" conclusion as to whether to move forward with commercializing the technology. Participants had the option of forming a startup around the technology after the internship.
“Over these past nine weeks, I've had the opportunity to delve into new concepts and acquire a wealth of knowledge,” said Deepthi Rao, graduate student, Master of Science in Information Systems. “I look forward to potential collaborations in the future, where I can apply the lessons I've learned during this period to achieve even more impressive outcomes. My time during the I-Corps venture internship has been truly enriching.”
“This internship has given me a life-changing experience and opportunity,” said Etsu. “I didn't expect anything less from the first day that David Steele [Hub Coordinator, NSF I-Corps Mid-Atlantic Region and Program Manager, UMD I-Corps] interviewed me.”
The students’ market research during the internship program will help UM Ventures staff to decide what UMD resources they should use in support of these technologies.
“The work these students did contributes significantly to the UMD innovation ecosystem, while giving them valuable professional experience in the process,” said Steele, who managed the internship program. “These technologies were developed at UMD, and these students may help bring them to the marketplace. Some of these technologies might have gone undeveloped otherwise.”
The students who worked with the Gambit Drone technology are considering enrolling in the National I-Corps Program.
Students participating in the internship program may contribute to the UMD XPRIZE Wildfire team.
The next UMD I-Corps Internship Program will be held in early spring 2024.