Shocker Innovation Corps provides funding, training for 29 teams in its first year


Shocker I-Corps participants and InnovateHer semi-finalists Gina LeBar and Nicole Zimmerman with their mentor, Gary Brooking.

At the conclusion of its first year, The Shocker Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program has provided seed funding, customer validation training, mentoring and other valuable resources to a total of 29 Wichita State University student teams, many of which have won additional awards and funding.

The program, administered by WSU Ventures, is an initiative of the National Science Foundation to nurture and support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related ideas, devices, processes or other intellectual activities into the marketplace in anticipation of profit.

“The Shocker I-Corps program has been an overwhelming success,” said Sherry Gegen, WSU ventures business development and innovation manager, who oversees the program. “Many of our teams have gone on to win additional competitions and seed funding to further their ideas. It has been the perfect catalyst for student innovation.”

Shocker I-Corps teams who have gone on to win additional competitions this year include:

  •  Illuminate by Nicole Zimmerman, Gina LeBar and Shauntel Pearson – InnovateHer: Innovating for Women Business Challenge Semifinalist
  •  Lawn Buddy by Steven Werner – WSU Jumpstart Kansas Entrepreneurs Competition, Get Started Wichita Competition, Shocker New Venture Competition 2016 (2nd)
  •  MAGICA hip retractor system by Caylin Wiley, Fanny Ochoa, Gisela Guzman and Maria Valbuena - Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge (2nd Chance Round)
  •  Mobile Car Tune by Jocelyn Galicia and Ernesto Cisneros – Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge  (2nd Chance Round), Shocker New Venture Competition (3rd)
  •  Pinole Blue by Levi Iseman and Eddie Sandeval – Shocker New Venture Competition (1st)
  •  Vytal by Jared Goering, sophomore, and Spencer Steinert, freshman – Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge (2nd), WSU Jumpstart Kansas Entrepreneurs Competition, Shocker New Venture Competition (4th)
  •  Wordprint Project from Professors of Peace, by Johnna Crawford, graduate student – WSU Jumpstart Kansas Entrepreneurs Competition

Thus far, six of the 29 teams have resulted in startup businesses including:

Teams selected to participate in Shocker I-Corps receive training through the WSU Center for Entrepreneurship’s E-Launch program, a six-week interactive class that assists in the development of a business model that will deliver the value proposition to customers and provide a framework and methodology to create a viable startup company.

Applications for the next round of Shocker I-Corps are due September 8. Sessions will take place Sept. 15-Nov. 3. Projects and ideas must be STEM-related and can originate from student work, student/faculty collaborations, funded or unfunded research or institutional/industrial projects. Teams should include a Wichita State student (undergraduate, graduate or doctoral) entrepreneurial lead, mentor and academic lead. For more information, or to apply, visit www.wsuventures.org/icorps.

Additional teams that participated in the first year of Shocker I-Corps include:

  • Adapted Gaming Controller
  • Brom Eco
  • Cypher Eyewear
  • diRLSock
  • Fire-Fighting Squad Robot
  • Gausshawk UAS
  • Health Collab
  • I.V. Arm Stabilizer
  • InFlux
  • Intelligent Alarm
  • Intelligent Insole
  • Knox Equine Boot
  • Raspberry Project
  • Reliable Controller
  • Shockers Grid Club
  • Shocker-Tech
  • Smart Foot Orthosis
  • VeriMed Tech
  • Veterinarian Positioning System
  • VOR Stabilizer
  • Wu Shocker Technology
  • WuMan’s Group

Contact: Sherry Gegen, 316-978-6359