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Purdue Winter 2023 Discovery

Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship


February 17, 2023
12:00 PM


April 7, 2023
2:00 PM



Coursee Description

These online workshops will help you explore the commercial viability of your deep tech innovation idea/IP. We teach the Lean LaunchPad approach, a process to help you systematically test key assumptions about your technology and the customer problems it might be able to solve better than current alternatives. This assessment of “technology-problem fit” is the critical first step toward commercial success for any technology venture.

The learning objectives of the Discovery program are:

  • Develop familiarity with Lean LaunchPad concepts and tools such as customer discovery, ecosystem mapping, and the Business Model Canvas
  • Understand customers’ problems (“pain points”) from THEIR perspective
  • Map your customer ecosystem to understand customer roles, requirements, and decision processes
  • Build connections to the commercial ecosystem (i.e., customers, suppliers, etc.) for your innovation

After completion of the Discovery program, researchers who are interested in applying for PFI-TT and/or SBIR (before participating in the National NSF I-Corps Teams program) are strongly encouraged to continue onto Discovery+.

The learning objectives of the Discovery+ program are:

  • Explore the size of your potential market, assess the competition, and identify a first target market (beachhead)
  • Develop a commercialization roadmap identifying key milestones and required resources to move your idea forward
  • Learn about various NSF-funded commercialization grants and their application process

This course is for faculty, researchers, and students with deep-tech Intellectual Property and a strong interest in commercializing their technology. Researchers from other Midwest universities are welcome to apply.

Course Benefits

  • Become eligible for the National NSF I-Corps Teams program and $50,000 grant for qualifying technologies and teams
  • Increase chances of commercialization grants such as SBIR/STTR, PFI-TT, etc. ($250K-$2M)
  • Gain valuable market insight to inform the next steps for your idea
  • Develop network connections and receive mentoring from experienced industry experts and entrepreneurs
  • Develop an entrepreneurial mindset and toolset needed for conducting use-inspired research and roles in industry, startups, or government

Course Schedule

All course events occur on Fridays from 12:00-2:00PM ET.

Discovery Program

  • Feb 17: Getting Started
  • Feb 24: Customer Discovery
  • March 10: Product-Market Fit
  • March 24: Next steps

Discovery+ Program

  • March 31: Market Sizing and Commercialization pathway
  • April 7: Applying for commercialization grants (PFI-TT/RP, SBIR)

In between the formal course sessions, you will conduct 20-30 customer discovery interviews (during Discovery), complete online learning assignments, apply the tools to your own tech, and receive feedback and coaching from a team of experienced instructors/mentors.


This hands-on program takes work – 8-10 hours/per week throughout the course. In addition to the course deliverables, you are expected to “get out of the building” (virtually or physically, if safe) to interview and observe customers and stakeholders. Direct market interaction is vital to fine-tuning your customer segment and value proposition.

Please fill out the program application below and you will be contacted regarding acceptance. Contact Geetali Pradhan,, with questions.


Contact Details

Event Website

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Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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