As a consultant for the NSF funded Midwest Innovation Node (UMICH, Purdue and UIUC), I have been tasked to collect certain data for teams who completed the NSF I-Corps Site program (Intro to Customer Discovery) taught through UWM. These data will eventually be shared with NSF to inform the next solicitation. I would very much appreciate your responding to the following questions below. I am reaching out to you since you were the designated academic lead.
• Did you attend/participate in the NSF National I-Corps following completion of the local I-Corps program (for your project ADHESION CONTROL) in Winter 2018? If not, why?
• Was the designated entrepreneurial lead (XXXXX) undergraduate or graduate student at the time of his participation?
• What was the mentor's (YYYYYY) background?
• Did you pursue any follow-on funding after completion of the local I-Corps program? If yes, please provide detail, if any.
• Do you have success stories to share that resulted from your participation in the local I-Corps program? For example, participation in pitch events, etc?
• What is the current status of your project?
Thank you very much for your cooperation. Please feel free to contact me if you have any question.
Ну я ответил, дал ссылку на свой блог, где я говорю, что необходимы посадки чиновников NSF. Не обидится ли он? Не хотелось бы испортить отношения. Но жулики бы должны сидеть в тюрьме, я не его конкретно имею в виду. Вот как я написал (декану копировать не стал):
Thank you for your message.
Yes, we participated in local NSF iCorps in Spring 2018. My goal was to learn more about modern startup business education concepts, to establish contacts with local industry and to research opportunities for commercialization of my scientific ideas, as well as personal self-development (to leave the comfort zone and to develop communication skills talking with industry people). The program was a great experience, definitely worth the time spent. I would like to particularly thank Ilya Avdeev and Brian Thomson, who did excellent and creative job in teaching, with great enthusiasm, modern business concepts (customer discovery, minimum viable product etc.). They are outstanding! We learned a lot from them and we enjoyed the program.
We decided that we are not yet ready to go for the national iCorps level. Two my particular concerns about the national iCorps and the NSF in general are:
1. I heard many stories about harassment of scientists and scholars at the national iCorps. None of the people with whom I talked liked or enjoyed it or thought that the effort was worth the money. In many cases, scientists felt that the NSF pressured them to abandon their topic and work on a different topic, which they felt as an infringement of their academic freedom.
2. I also have general concerns about corruption at the NSF. I summarized these in my relatively recent blog posts. If you are interested in my opinion, you can read these below:
Saying that, I am open for collaboration with the NSF or other agencies.