• Media and Press


    NEW Program for Graduate Students

    UNCGGrad Student Travel Program Poster

    Two universities in Greensboro have received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to set up a program to support local entrepreneurs in the STEM fields.

    UNC-Greensboro and N.C. A&T State University will use the funding to establish an Innovation Corps site in the city. The $500,000 will be given to the program over a period of five years.

    The five-week program in Greensboro, which starts in October, is open to UNCG and N.C. A&T students, faculty and alumni, said Justin Streuli, director of the North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center at UNCG and an I-Corps coordinator.


    “This is one of the biggest impacts for UNCG and A&T — in terms of developing startups as well as an entrepreneurial culture — we’ve seen in a while,” he said.

    The projects the I-Corps site will look to support will be those focused in STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — fields. This includes a portable, biosensor for disease diagnostics, which is being developed by Taylor Mabe, an UNCG Ph.D. student at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering.

    Mabe is working to develop the device with Jianjun Wei, an associate professor at UNCG. He said he is participating in the I-Corps program to develop business skills.

    Mabe said the program will also help the team determine which diagnostic tests they should focus on when preparing the device to be commercialized.

    “We’re pretty confident in the technology but we don’t know which way to take it,” he said. “We’re hoping the discovery process will lead us to the right fit for the technology.”

    The I-Corps site will operate out of HQ Greensboro, a co-working space, and will support 30 entrepreneurial teams this year. I-Corps will provide teams with grants ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 to help fund customer discovery activities, developing prototypes and other expenses, Streuli said.

    NEW Program for Graduste Students

    UNCGGrad Student Travel Program Poster

  • Contact Information

    Director, NCEC

    Justin Streuli
    1613D MHRA Bldg, 1111 Spring Garden St.
    Greensboro, NC 27412
    Phone: 336-256-8647 | Mobile: 336-908-0178 | Email: (

    Strategic Project Coordinator, IPSO

    Ryan Barry
    1613B MHRA Bldg, 1111 Spring Garden St.
    Greensboro, NC 27412
    Phone: 336-334-4773 | Email: (


  • FAQ's

    What is the difference between NSF I-Corps and UNCG-NC A&T I-Corps program?

    The NSF (National Science Foundation) I-Corps is a national program. It provides funding which is disbursed to institutions to promote science and innovation. The UNCG-A&T I-Corps program is a part of the NSF's Innovation Corps intiative, which is a regional program to benefit Greensboro and the Triad by spurring innovation and entrepreneurship.

    What will this program look like?

    There will be five cohorts of students and faculty, the first of which begins in Octoboer. Each cohort will last 5 weeks, during which each team (generally 3 UNCG-A&T students and/or faculy members) will have to meet at least 30 potential buyers of the product or servce that your team will develop. Funding will be granted to help defray cost associated with these meetings, such as travel and lodging expenses. Upon successful completion of the program, we sincerely encourage our I-Corps graduates to apply for the national program once they meet the minimum requirements.

    I have a great idea, but how will this program help me implement it?

    This program will provide structured mentorship and funding to further your team's business or research ideas. In addition to the funding that each team is granted, each of the 30 meetings that your team holds throughout the program will yield invaluable information. The mentorship component is provided every Friday during the program, when each of the teams meet at HQ Greensboro and discuss the successes and meetings each respective group has had and held.

    Is the entire team required to participate in the seminars, workshops, and on-site assignments?

    Yes, every member of the team must be fully immersed in the process and committed to the time and tasks required.

    What should I do about my IP or patent pending?

    Although confidentiality is a requirement of the program, we highly recommend you consult with UNCG's North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center (NCEC) or the Innovation Partnetship Services Office (IPSO) to discuss any concerns you may have prior to applying. Both are located on the first floor of the MHRA building on UNCG's campus.

    Will my idea qualify for this program?

    Great question! You should never be afriad to contact Justin Streuli with any questions you have regarding the UNCG-A&T I-Corps program. You can also check the requirements of the NSF I-Corps program here:

    Can you help me find a team or a mentor?

    Yes, contact the NCEC today!

    When does the next cohort begin?

    For Cohort 1, the Kickoff Workshop will be held Friday, October 13th, from 3:00 to 6:00pm at HQ Greensboro. The intermediate meetings will be held every Friday, at the same time and location. The Closing Workshop will be held Friday, November 17th.


  • Curriculum

    As a prerequisite for participating in the I-Corps program, all team members are required to watch a set of videos that are integrated into the Friday classroom sessions. All videos feature Steve Blank, a legendary startup leader who developed the "Lean Launchpad Methodology," serving as the basis of the I-Corps Program.

    • Week One: Business Model Canvas
    • Week Two: Pre-Planning Customer Delivery
    • Week Three: Customer Discovery Interviews
    • Week Four: Outside the Building
    • Week Five: Back in the Building


  • Links

  • Teams

     Cohort 3: March-April 2018 

    Team 16: Energy Harvesting

    EL: Ryan Yarborough, PhD Nanoscience, JSNN

    PI: Hemali Rathnayrke, Assistant Professor, Nanoscience

    Team 17: iGit Company

    EL1: Eric Mitchell, Co-Founder, iGit Company, LLC

    EL2: Yolanda Mitchell, Co-Founder, iGit Company, LLC  

    PI: Justin Streuli, Director, LaunchUNCG

    M: Jim Boyer, Principal Infrastructure Architect, SRS Technology, LLC

    Team 18: Health eCoach Team

    EL: Maurine Crouch, MA Public Health Education

    PI: Regina McCoy, Professor, Public Health Education

    M: Andy Brewer, Instructional Technologist, Northwest Area Health Education Center

    Team 19: NanoMatrix

    EL: Sara Abbasi Razgaleh, PhD, JSNN

    PI: Shyam Aravamudhan, Associate Professor, Nanoengineering

    M: Jim Ryan, PhD, Founding Dean of JSNN

    Team 20: Diversity Training

    EL: Jennifer Klaiber, GAA, Human Development and Family Studies

    PI: Dan Perlman, Professor, Human Development and Family Studies

    M: Elliott Kimball, Assistant Director, Office of Interculteral Engagement

    Team 21: Garage Sky

    EL1: Trevor Nelson, Accounting & Finance

    EL2: Cameron Nelson, Supply Chain

    PI: Thaddeus McEwen, Professor, Business Administration

    M: Carlos C Mims, Vice President, Trapp Insurance Group

    Team 22: Aquatic Defender

    EL: Renuka Panchagavi, PhD Chemistry, Computation Science

    PI: Scott Harrison, Assistant Professor, Biology

    M: Chris Veal, MBA, Counselor, SBTDC

    Team 23: Biochar Production

    EL: Natasha McMaster, Biological Engineering

    PI: Abolghasem Shahbazi, Professor, Biological Engineering

    M: Matthew Todd, Research Technician, NCAT


    Cohort 2: January-February 2018

    Team 8: Precision Edge Performance

    EL - Katie Thompson, Ed.D., Kinesiology

    EL - Jill Wierzba, Ed.D., Kinesiology

    PI - Dianne Gill, Ph.D., Professor, Kinesiology

    M - Mark Geske, Lietutenant, Fayetteville Police Department

    Innovating theoretically and empirically based holistic human performance training to include non-invasive measurement, monitoring, recording, and analyzing of Heart Rate Variability (HRV) in combination with systematic applied performance psychology and kinesiology methodologies.

    Team 9: BrainCARE

    (Delayed participation to further improve their innovation)

    EL - Nicole Thomas, MA, Public Health Education

    PI - Jeff Milroy, Professor, Public Health Education

    M - David Wyrick, Founder, Prevention Strategies LLC

    Our product would be an app that incorporates intermittent public health messages including but not limited to recognizing the signs and symptoms of concussions throughout cognitive training games (may include games that improve memory, attention, reaction time, and problem solving).

    Team 10: Cognitive Support Device for Individuals with Autism (CSDIA)

    EL - Hannah Townsend, Ph.D., Specialized Education Services

    EL - Pavand Kethinedi, Computer Science

    PI - Pamela Williamson, Professor, Education

    The longterm purpose of this project will be to develop a cognitive prosthetic device to support the executive function skills of individuals with autism.

    Team 11: Team Market Seg

    EL - Phillip Sheldon, MPA

    PI - Stephen Sills, Director, CHCS

    M - Allison Bramwell, Ph.D.

    Using methods from the social sciences, we want to help communities understand their neighborhoods and focus investment into areas in which they can get the most "bang-for-their-buck."

    Team 12: Juvenile Navigating System - JNS

    EL - Sadric Bonner, Training and Technical Assistance Specialist, UNCG CYFCP

    PI - Ken Gruber, Ph.D., UNCG CYFCP

    M - Natalie Patrics Tucker, Accessibility Program Manager

    We wish to create a smartphone app allowing people to track loved ones in the juvenile justice system.

    Team 13: Onyx Ocean

    EL - Fa'Lon Thomas, Entrepreneuirship & Business

    PI - Thaddeus McEwen, Ph.D., Professor, Managment

    M - Christina Tupper, Professor, Management

    Our mission is to build a full curriculum for STEM classes and summer camps


    Team 14: Wellness Council of North Carolina

    EL - GracieLee Weaver, Ph.D., Public Health Education

    PI - Dan Bibeau, Professor, Public Health Education

    Our aim is to develop a locally oriented wellness council serving the NC region.


    Team 15: Toxicity Database as a Service

    EL - Joseph Mwangi, Ph.D., Medical Biochemistry

    PI - Norman Chiu, Ph.D., Professor, Chemistry

    M - Charles R. Cantor, Ph.D., Sequenom Inc.

    We're going to create a novel platform and reference database for high throughput screening for in vitro chemical toxicity.




    Cohort 1 - October - November 2017

    Team 1: 3i-Nano JSNN

    EL - Taylor Mabe Ph.D., Nanoscience JSNN

    PI - Jianjun Wei, Ph.D., Associate Professor JSNN

    M - Brad Hayes, Retired CFO, LabCorp

    3i Nanotech makes point-of-care devices that could replace the large, bench-top instruments that are currently used for disease diagnostics and protein detection. A handheld biological sensor yields immediate results in a low-cost, portable format.

    Current status:

    Team 2: Targeting Virulence

    EL - Cassandra Naphen, Ph.D., Chemistry

    PI - Nadja Cech, Ph.D., Professor, Chemistry

    M - Cedric Pearce, Ph.D., CEO, Mycosynthetix

    Targeting Virulence is a new therapeutic strategy to shut down bacterial pathogenesis (i.e. toxin production). Through this isolation methodology, we hope to create a natural way to break the cycle of drug resistance.

    Current status:

    Team 3: Cardiac Wellness Assessment Tool

    EL - Shane Loeffler, Ph.D. Nanoscience, JSNN

    PI - Joseph Starobin, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Nanoscience

    M - Ryan Barry, MBA, Strategic Projects Coordinator, ORE

    This Cardiac Wellness Assessment Tool focuses on monitoring the reserve of cardiac repolarization as a tool for quantification of the influence of physical, emotional and environmental stressors on cardiac performance in asymptomatic population.

    Current status:

    Team 4: ArthroLax

    EL - James Coppock, MS Applied Neuromechanics, Kinesiology

    El -  Elvis Foli, MS Applied Neuromechanics, Kinesiology

    PI - Sandra Shultz, Ph.D., Professor, Kinesiology

    M - Robert Koshinskie, MBA, Principal Consultant, Ringbolt Services

    Arthrolax is developing a device that can efficiently and accurately characterize and measure multi-planar knee ligament integrity.

    Current status:

    Team 5: Solelectrolyte

    EL - Alla Letfullina, Ph.D. Nanoscience, JSNN

    PI - Sungjin Cho, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Nanoengineering

    Solelectrolyte’s goal is to achieve the next generation energy storage device by developing a solid state electrolyte membrane.

    Current status:

    Team 6: Shorti

    EL - Keenan Smith, Co-founder, BrownBoxWorks, NCAT Alumni

    PI - Everette Slocum, Co-founder, BrownBoxWorks, NCAT

    M - Thaddeus McEwen, Ph.D., Professor, Management

    M - Lou Ann Flanders-Stec, MBA, EVP of Entrepreneurship, Launch Greensboro

    Shorti is an iOS and Android writing app that allows users to imagine, create and share short stories and poems of up to 1500 words.

    Current status:

    Team 7: Super SAPS

    EL - Michael Assad, Ph.D. Nanoscience, JSNN

    PI - Dan Herr, Professor & Dept Chair, Nanoscience

    M - Justin Streuli, MBA

    Super SAPS is focused on developing an improved superabsorbant material applicable in a variety of industries.

    Current status:

  • Expenses Info

    Budget & Duration

    During the 5-week cohort period, each team is allotted a budget of $1,000. This is flexible if necessary.

    After the completion of 20-30 interviews teams will have access to an additional $2,000-$3,000 to utilize over a 5-month period for addition customer discovery and prototype development.

    Approved Expenses

    Below is a list of acceptable and unacceptable expenses. Before you spend any money, please contact us for approval:


    • Local travel (gas)
    • Out of state hotel
    • Flight, Conference Fees
    • Webcam, mic for video
    • Other things related to Customer Discovery
    • LATER – Prototyping


    • International travel
    • Entertainment
    • Business expenses
    • Legal fees
    • Paying people
    • Academic conferences
    • Expenses for people not on your team

    Pre-Approved Travel

    • Pre-approved travel can be paid ahead of time using the UNCG Purchase Card for UNCG faculty, staff and students. This travel included conferences, airfare, out of state hotels and other similar travel expenses.
    • To utilize this feature, make sure to get approval, then please contact Barbara Hemphill for next steps as well as complete a TRV-1, see linked below under “Relevant Forms”

    Mileage Reimbursement

    • Mileage is reimbursed at a standard rate determined by the state of NC. Currently the rate is $0.535 per mile.
    • For mileage reimbursement, we need to be provided an excel sheet with the point to point addresses for each trip, mileage between those locations, reason for the trip, and a google maps printout of the directions complete with a map.
    • All mileage can be turned in at once, but remember to keep it within the 60-day time limit for reimbursement.

    Special Notes

    • All expenses must be reimbursed within 60-days. Please try to turn in expenses within 30-days just to be safe.
    • To be reimbursed, the original receipt must be provided. If you do not provide the original receipt, you may not be able to get reimbursed.
    • We can only cover expenses related to customer discovery. Make sure to review the acceptable vs. unacceptable.

    Relevant Forms


    Barbara Hemphill

    Financial Manager, UNCG, Office of Research & Engagement

    Email: | Office (336) 256-1172 

    Kim Augsburger

    Operations Director, UNCG, Office of Research & Engagement

    Email:   |   336.256.8649   |   |   1710 MHRA Building   |   Office of Research & Engagement
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