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  1. Biotech startups benefit society by solving unmet scientific and medical needs, but more can be done to move their technologies to market more quickly. 
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  2. Abstract

    In 2011, the U.S. National Science Foundation created the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program in an effort to explore ways to translate the results of the academic research the agency has funded into new products, processes, devices, or services and move them to the marketplace. The agency established a 3-tier structure to support the implementation of the I-Corps concept. Selected I-Corps teams consisting of the principal investigator, an entrepreneurial lead, and an industry mentor participate in a 7-week accelerated version of the Lean Launchpad methodology that was first developed by Steve Blank at Stanford University. Participating teams engage in talking to potential customers, partners, and competitors and address the challenges and the uncertainty of creating successful ventures. I-Corps sites were set up to promote selected aspects of innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems at the grantee institutions. I-Corps Regional Nodes were charged with recruiting I-Corps teams in a larger geographical area as well as stimulating a new culture of academic entrepreneurship in the institutions in their area of influence. This Topical Review describes the experiences and the impact of the New York City Regional Innovation Node, which is led by the City University of New York, in partnership with New York University and Columbia University.

    Graphic abstract 
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  3. Innovation is one of the most important drivers of economic growth, yet only 8% of minorities,12% of women, and < 0.05% of African Americans are recognized as innovators. However, acomprehensive analysis of nearly all doctoral dissertations from 1977 to 2015 shows that although individuals from under-represented minority groups demonstrated greater scientific innovation, their contributions are rarely further adopted compared to equally impactful contributions by majority groups. In this instance “rarely further adopted,” as noted by Hofstra et al. (1), means that the “novel contributions by gender and racial minorities are taken up by other scholars at lower rates than novel contributions by gender and racial majorities, and equally impactful contributions of gender and racial minorities are less likely to result in successful scientific careers than for majority groups.” Access to the wealth of potential innovations — going largely unnoticed and underutilized — from under-represented minority groups can be achieved, in part, by engaging science and engineering students, faculty, and staff at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in entrepreneurship through the use of the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) curriculum with adaptations to fit the education and research environments at HBCUs. A consortium of three North Carolina universities and the NYC Regional InnovationNetwork (NYCRIN) I-Corps Node established a partnership developing a specialized Lean LaunchPad training program for HBCU students, faculty, and staff. Implementation followeda three-step train-the-trainers ‘mentor-protege’ model, where new instructors ‘see one, do one, be one’ while learning to deliver the curriculum. The overarching goals of this initiativeare to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach in broadening participation in I-Corps and mainstreaming the innovation capacities of HBCUs. The authors include instructors from the collaborating institutions, who trained and served as the teaching team for regional and national cohorts. Included are the rationale for creating the program, partnership selection,instructor and team recruitment, best practices for the ‘mentor-protege’ model, and outcomes for the cohorts. This contribution is a unique opportunity for other faculty to learn from practitioners about the challenges and successes involved in creating such a new multi-institutional entrepreneurship training paradigm. 
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