What Makes a Team?

Team "Carpal Coding" (Left to right: Ken Currie, Stephen Canfield, Carl Owens). Cohort: 2014 Washington, DC Metro Area

The structure of an I-Corps™ L team consists of three individuals: a Principal Investigator (PI), an Entrepreneurial Lead (EL), and a Mentor (M).

  • The Principal Investigator (PI) has significant knowledge of the team project and is responsible for overall grant management .
  • The Entrepreneurial Lead (EL) should have a deep commitment to investigate the landscape surrounding the innovation.
  • The Mentor (M) is a third-party resource responsible for guiding the team forward, helping them interpret comments, assisting in obtaining interviews, and keeping the team honest about what they are hearing.

It is expected that all team members fully engage in the eight-week program, participating in the face-to-face workshops, online sessions, and customer discovery process.


Details to consider: 

Principal Investigator (PI)

  • The PI holds the intellectual capital underlying the innovation.
  • The PI supports the EL in developing the idea and moving it forward.

Entrepreneurial Lead (EL)

  • In I-Corps™ L, this person is the primary interface with the instruction team.
  • The EL is the only one allowed to speak at presentations.
  • The EL is expected to take the lead with customer interviews and updating the Lean LaunchPad interface and the Business Model Canvas.

Mentor (M)

  • The mentor should be an experienced educator/entrepreneur with expertise in product/program innovation and, ideally (but not necessarily) the specific field within which the project is being developed.