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CSU Innovation Corps

2021 Summer Sprint

Application Deadline: Friday, April 16, 20​21​

​​ APPLY ​​HERE ​​​



Summer Sprint is a 2 week-long, virtual opportunity for research teams to explore biotechnology commercialization. Summer Sprint will involve a mix of webinars, teamwork and homework. Your team will be able to meet with experts from the biotechnology industry.


 June 14-25, 2021 (Monday – Friday)


 Virtual. Activities will be held on Zoom.


CSU faculty, student and/or staff researchers. If you are interested in learning about life sciences commercialization – Summer Sprint is for you!

Applicants must have hands-on, biotechnology-related research experience. CSUPERB defines biotechnology as a fusion of biology and technology. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) lists biotechnology examples, applications and sectors.  CSUPERB welcomes and encourages applications from CSU faculty, student and staff researchers working in all disciplines related to the current practice of biotechnology, including but not limited to life sciences, physical sciences, clinical sciences, math, computer science, agricultural science engineering, and/or business.


After Summer Sprint, teams have an opportunity to win $1000 microgrants to further investigate their research-based commercialization ideas. Successful teams will also earn consultations with the Tech Futures Group to plan out next steps and map out commercialization milestones for follow on fund-raising, as well as becoming eligible for the National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps Teams program ($50,000 grants).

How to Apply 

Apply as a team. A team can consist of a mix of CSU faculty, student and/or staff researchers with an interest in learning biotech commercialization (3 people*)

 The CSU I-Corps 2021 Summer Sprint Application form is available online. ​Applications are due Friday, April 16, 2021 by 5 pm pacific time.

*If the team is more or less than 3 people, please contact the CSUPERB program office.  


If you have questions about CSU I-Corps Summer Sprint, your eligibility, the application, or the selection process, contact Christine Montgomery at CSUPERB (rmontgomery@sdsu.edu; 619-594-1203) or contact the CSUPERB program office (csuperb@sdsu.edu; 619-594-2822).

Quotes from previous Summer Sprint participants:

“They ask for your full undivided attention for a full week (or two) for a reason. You get out as much as you put in!"

“Since our team has been working together in a lab for at least a year, it was easier for us to communicate and speak up about what we felt was right."

“Keep eyes and ears open all the time to absorb as much as you can during the program. You will get to know a lot by analyzing your own team, other participating teams, and the inputs from the faculty team. It's a great opportunity to learn the basics of evidence-based entrepreneurship and be able to apply it right away. I will strongly recommend giving your 100% when you participate and see the difference (in you as an individual and your team) at the end of the program."

“This type of summer sprint will be very beneficial for business students who wish to pursue a career in bio-technology. However, the basic principles learnt are applicable to any new business start-up. I highly recommend undergoing such training. The valuable addition to my knowledge, experience, and the confidence in terms of certain concept implementation was significant."

“Our team chemistry was undeniable. Every member respected each other's opinions which led to very fruitful discussions and activities. Having one of our team member's be an MBA student also helped significantly given that the other two members were more technically savvy. Our industry mentor also had a big effect on our success. He had a very good network in the field as well as very relevant experience in entrepreneurship."

“Because we were all very knowledgeable about the science, we were able to pivot easily to a new approach (but same science) as well as explain our technology effectively."

“I just wanted to emphasize my tremendous personal growth (academically and entrepreneurial); as a full professor you would think learning is only in small quantities at a time. However, the “total immersion" style of the Summer Sprint allowed me to grow by “leaps and bounds!"

“Be ready to work a lot, be ready to talk to a lot of people, take criticism and use it constructively."

2021 Summer Sprint Details

CSU I-Corps Summer Sprint will start Monday, June 14, 2021 and end on Friday, June 25, 2021.

Summer Sprint will be over a two week period requiring a 5 full days each week. Half of the day will consist of interaction on Zoom and the other half will consist of completing coursework followed by homework including team interaction and interviews with potential customers, experts and mentors.

I-Corps courses nationwide create entrepreneurial experiences “with all the pressures and demands of the real world" – so expect a participatory, fast-paced, high-energy workshop. 

Participants work with industry professionals to learn about biotechnology commercialization, grow professional networks, and explore entrepreneurial opportunities that build on basic research. Industry mentors (IMs) will be matched with Summer Sprint teams.

Summer Sprint Learning Objectives

  • Experience working with a team to identify problems and propose solutions
  • Learn about evidence-based entrepreneurship as taught by NSF I-Corps™ nodes and sites nationwide
  • Apply evidence-based entrepreneurship concepts via customer discovery
  • Gain familiarity with life science commercialization concepts
  • Grow and build off-campus professional networks
  • Present lessons learned to a panel of industry experts


Applications are due Friday, April 16, 2021.  ​APPLY HERE

Selection Criteria

Only complete applications received by the application deadline will be reviewed.

Applicants do NOT need previous commercialization experience, a developed venture concept, or any protected intellectual property in hand. Summer Sprint is designed specifically for curious researchers and nascent academic entrepreneurs.

Applicants will be selected based on:

  • the team's ability to submit a complete application received by the deadline,
  • the team's biotechnology-relevant research background,
  • a desire to learn about biotechnology commercialization,
  • the teams' availability and commitment to participate 100% in scheduled activities, and
  • a clear connection between the team's commercialization idea and a CSU-based research group.
  • the CSU I-Corps Teaching Team may decide to interview applicants before final selection.

All applicants should save Summer Sprint dates before applying. If a team member becomes unavailable for Summer Sprint, please contact the CSUPERB program office immediately.

Selection decisions will be made in May. Applicants will be notified of selection decisions by email. 

If you have questions about CSU I-Corps Summer Sprint, your eligibility, the application, or the selection process, contact Christine Montgomery at CSUPERB (rmontgomery@sdsu.edu; 619-594-1203) or contact the CSUPERB program office (csuperb@sdsu.edu; 619-594-2822).