I-Corps applications due Feb. 4 for 'design thinking' program

Release Date: January 21, 2015

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – The application deadline is Wednesday, Feb. 4, for the next nine-week Michigan I-Corps@LTU program that helps designers, innovators, engineers and tinkerers move their business ideas from the drawing board to the marketplace. The classes start Saturday, Feb. 14, at Lawrence Technological University, 21000 West 10 Mile Road, Southfield.

This year’s program will emphasize Design Thinking, a product development process that goes through five steps: empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test. There is a focus on gaining customer input before fully commercializing a product.

The program also employs the Business Model Canvas, which provides a visual method for describing a firm’s value proposition, infrastructure, customers and finances.

The Michigan I-Corps@LTU program is available free of charge to qualified teams thanks to funding from the Coleman Foundation and support provided by the Lawrence Technological University Collaboratory and the University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship I-Corps Program.

Last year the LTU Collaboratory launched this real-world, results-oriented mentoring program to help students, faculty, alumni, innovators, entrepreneurs and companies advance new product ideas and establish new business opportunities.

Michigan I-Corps@LTU was established with funds from the Coleman Foundation and the Kern Family Foundation and is part of a statewide program designed to foster and grow an innovation ecosystem throughout Michigan. It provides participants with knowledge about what it takes to successfully commercialize their ideas and focus on meeting customer needs.

I-Corps™ participants are matched up with an industry mentor for individual assistance. Teams receive a prototyping stipend and can qualify for additional seed funding. The best team will receive a $1,000 cash prize.

“The program is designed to save years and money by developing a structured business model,” said Mark Brucki, executive director of economic development and government relations at Lawrence Tech. “Each innovation team will develop a greater understanding of its product and how it can benefit customers, locate customers and markets, and discover what it takes to commercialize a product and overcome the barriers to adoption.”

For more information and to apply, go to www.ltu.edu/i-corps. For questions, contact i-corps@ltu.edu.

Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 100 universities for the salaries of its graduates, and highest in the Detroit metropolitan area.  Lawrence Tech is also listed in the top tier of Midwestern universities by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review. Students benefit from small class sizes and experienced faculty who provide a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus include over 60 student clubs and organizations and a growing roster of NAIA varsity sports.

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