Track D

D11 The Role of Customer Discovery in Technology Commercialization

Track: Nuts and Bolts of Technology Transfer

Target Audience: Intermediate

Steven Wood, The State University of New York

Jim Aloise, Columbia Technology Ventures
Steven Konsek, National Science Foundation
Christina Pellicane, University of Delaware

We’ll explore how and why customer discovery, a method pioneered by Steve Blank in his Lean Startup program at Stanford University and championed by the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps™ program, is empowering academic researchers and inventors to engage with industry and establish a virtuous cycle of productizing inventions and growing research programs. I-Corps and similar programs have made tremendous gains in popularity in the United States and internationally, and have taken root across most of the federal agencies offering Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant programs. You’ll learn from a panel of experts who practice and teach customer discovery methods at various programs, as well as academic researchers and inventors who have benefited from these programs.

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