Florida congressman Dan Webster added his name to a bipartisan proposal looking to expand “upon the time-tested I-Corps program through adding a course for commercialization-ready participants.” Webster explained that “this course will focus on the essential skills of starting a successful and scalable business.”
The “Innovators to Entrepreneurs Act” “expands the eligible pool of applicants for the I-Corps program, allowing the participation of aspiring entrepreneurs who have already demonstrated their merit by being awarded Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer grants from a federal agency.”
In addition, the proposal hopes to increase “participation in the successful National Science Foundation Innovation Corps program and provides additional training for innovators to learn how to turn their research into new products and businesses.”
First launched in 2012, I-Corps has been instrumental in training more than 1,300 teams while also helping launch around 650 startups around the United States. And, commenting on the importance of continuing this effort, Democrat Dan Lipinksi, the chief sponsor of the bill, explained why this bipartisan effort is necessary.
Lipinksi explained that it was effective “to be joined by a bipartisan group of colleagues in the House and Senate to introduce this bill expanding the highly effective I-Corps program, something I have championed since its inception. Increasing the accessibility of I-Corps allows us to ensure the money we invest in research and development will spur job growth and boost our return on investment. This bill has been endorsed by a wide range of technology, venture capital, and academic stakeholders, and we’re optimistic it will become law with overwhelming bipartisan support.”
Other cosponsors that join congressmen Webster and Lipinksi include Democrat Eddie Bernice Johnson, Republican Frank Lucas and Democrats Chris Coons and Todd Young.
The bill was ultimately sent to the U.S. Small Business and U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology committees.