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WPI I-Corps Site Schedule and Assignments

The Fall 2021 program consists of 4 classes/workshops, office hours with instructors, and meetings with your Mentors to practice the I-Corps methodology and conduct your first 30 interviews. We are pleased to be partnering with NE I-Corps from MIT for the first 2 classes.

All classes will be virtual.

 

Application

As we are partnering with NE I-Corps for the first two classes, we have a 2-step application process.  One application per team for each step. 

Step 1:  Apply to the WPI site program

Step 2:  Apply to NE I-Corps Spark

Applications close September 14.  Please contact otc@wpi.edu with any questions.

Connecting with Mentors

There will be an introductory presentation (virtual) by all teams in the cohort on September 21 from 5:00-6:30 where Mentors will observe and select teams they would like to mentor this fall.  In order to allow the Mentors to make a selection, please prepare the following 4 slides:

Slide 1: 
Team Name
Product/Technology – photo or drawing if available
1 Sentence Description
Team Photo(s)
 

Slide 2: 
Value Proposition
What customer problems are you trying to solve?
What customer needs are you satisfying?
 

Slide 3:
Value Proposition
What are the key features of your product/service that match the customer problems/needs?
 

Slide 4:
Customer Segments
Who are your most important customers?
Describe a typical customer?
What job do they want you to get done for them?

Lead Instructors:  Beth Kahn – bkahn@mit.edu, New England I-Corps Node, Todd Keiller -tkeiller@wpi.edu, Director, Office of Technology Commercialization
 

Workshop Dates (attendance required at all sessions):

Kick-Off/Class 1 – 9/28/21   5:00 – 8:00PM Customer Segments, Interviewing and Value Propositions

Class 2 – 10/21/2021      5:00 – 8:00 PM Lessons Learned – 1st 12 Interviews

Class 3 – 11/10/2021      5:00 – 7:15 PM Customer Relationships

Class 4 – 12/1/2021        5:00 – 7:15 PM Presentation of Findings

All sessions will be conducted virtually.

Upon acceptance to the program, you will receive access to Canvas, a learning management system, where you will find the syllabus and assignment details for Classes 1 and 2.

In between Class 1 and 2 your team will attend 2 office hours with the program instructors to review your interviewing progress.  All team members should be present.

 


Class 3 – Customer Relationships – Get-Keep-Grow

November 10th | 5:00-7:15 pm   |  Via Zoom

Pre-class Preparation: 

  • Watch the following videos; Customer Relationships  http://bit.ly/8vmsicorps
  • Optional reading: Chapter 5+6 of the Startup Owner’s Manual; Customer Discovery Phase Two and Three
  1. Prepare PPT presentation
    • Slide 1 – same format as in Class 2 with any modifications to the 1 sentence description, update # of customer interviewed.
    • Slide 2 & 3
    • a) What did you learn from the new interviews?  How did Value Propositions change and why?
    • Slide 4 – Update your BMC with focus on Customer Segments and Value Propositions
    • Slide 5 – Next 10 Interviews
      • What are the key things you want to learn in the next set of interviews? 
      • List of the next 10 people you plan to interview

In-class Agenda:

  • Presentation of results (2 minutes + 3 Q&A)) 50 min (Beth Kahn, Todd Keiller)
  • Lecture on Customer Relationships 40 min (Beth)
  • Revise CD plan and finalize list for next 10 customers 30 min (with Mentors)

Post-class Assignment:

  • Conduct 10 more customer interviews and meet with your Mentors to review progress.

Class 4 – Presentations of Findings

December 1 | 5:00-7:15 pm   | Via Zoom

Pre-class

  1. Suggested Reading: Chapter 7 of The Startup Owner’s Manual; Customer Discovery Phase Four
  2. Prepare final presentation
    • Slide 1 – team slide – include total number of interviews
    • Slide 2- Picture or brief description of your product or process (if not on Slide 1)
    • Slide 3 & 4– What are the three critical insights you learned from your interviews (consider learnings about your industry, the CD process and yourself)
    • Slide 5- Original Value Prop and Customer Segment with highlights of your current view
    • Slide 6 – Next steps and what resources do you need going forward

In class Agenda

  • Program Recap 10 min (Todd)
  • Team presentations (5 minutes + 3 minutes Q&A) 80 min (Todd)
  • WPI innovation and commercialization ecosystem – what’s out there for you 30 min (Todd)