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Feds Giving Engineers and Scientists $50K to Learn to Start Companies

• Ryan Singel via
Government bureaucracies and start-ups are usually two things that don’t mix well together, but the National Science Foundation is looking to change that with a $10 million grant for an start-up education program intended to teach the nation’s top scientists and engineers how to become entrepreneurs.

The Innovation Corps program — which starts in September at Stanford University –will give $50,000 to 100 different teams (3 or more people per team) every year to go through an intensive entrepreneurial education class. The I-Corps class will be modeled on a Stanford engineering class called Lean LaunchPad that was taught earlier this year by serial entrepreneur Steve Blank and a coterie of entrepreneurial thought leaders, technologists and venture capitalists. The grant, which runs to $10 million, covers five years of operations of the program, which will be taught quarterly to 25 teams at a time.

And unlike angel funding or investments from tech incubators such as TechStars and YCombinator, the teams don’t have to give up any equity to the government or to Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), which is handling the education portion of I-Corps.

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