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INNOVAR Educational Programs

As part of the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps program, INNOVAR offers introductory training workshops to entrepreneurs within campus and the community. Our quarterly program utilizes the Lean Launchpad methodology to evaluate product-market fit for an idea, technology or product and determine if it has market potential. By interviewing customers and other stakeholders, participants validate their idea in the market by defining the individual customer they are targeting and the “value” that they bring to that specific customer. Only when the customer sees “value” in the proposed technology or product, will they want to purchase it, which is the base for a viable business.

If you have an innovative idea or technology and want to increase the chances of successful commercialization, UCR’s INNOVAR workshops are for you. By being a part of INNOVAR, you will receive:

  • Dedicated Mentorship 
  • Transferable Business Skills 
  • Expanded Network 
  • Access to Funding 
  • Access to ExCite Incubator 
  • Access to UCR Life Science Incubator 

Spring 2024 INNOVAR Entrepreneur Training Course

Do you have an innovative idea that can help shape the Inland Empire, or even better - change the world? Bring your solutions to life with INNOVAR!

This no-cost program designed to help UCR faculty and students shape entrepreneurial ideas across various tech industries such as sustainable farming, transportation, medical devices, robotics, & much more. Learn to innovate solutions that can create positive change in the world & have the revenue potential for marketplace commercialization.

This quarterly 7-week program introduces the Lean Launchpad methodology and focuses on identifying and understanding the “customer” and their needs. Direct, face-to-face customer interviews provide insightful data to confirm product-market fit. In simple terms, customer interviews confirm that the entrepreneur is building something that somebody in the market wants, which significantly increases their chances of success. The program is focused on the market (customer's needs) and not the technology. It also introduces business concepts such as competition, market size, go-to-market, intellectual property protection and funding.

Your UC Riverside NSF I-Corps Program Liaison:


Jay Gilberg

Lead Instructor, INNOVAR Educational Programs 
Entrepreneurial Proof-of-Concept Innovation Center (EPIC)
Office of Technology Partnerships (OTP)
Office of Research and Economic Development Office (RED) 


Cohort Dates


Dates and Time:

April 16th, 23rd, 30th

May 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th

5:00-7:00 pm Class Time
and note that Spring 2024 classes will be held on Zoom, except for the first and last class.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: April 8th, 2024 by 11:59 p.m.

Apply Today!

Success Story

Edge Sound Research

From the earliest discussions of a business idea to attending and pitching at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), most startups require more than a month. But for Ethan Castro and Valtteri Salomaki, that’s exactly the speed their business has followed.