NUtech Ventures, the Center for Entrepreneurship and the Nebraska Business Development Center are leading a free five-week customer-discovery training program beginning Sept. 18.
Registration is available [here](https://go.unl.edu/customer-discovery](https://go.unl.edu/customer-discovery), and participants may sign up individually or in teams of up to five people until Sept. 13.
The non-credit program is open to Nebraska faculty, postdoctoral scholars and students interested in connecting research innovation with market applications. The program includes consultations with mentors and interviews with prospective customers. It also features three evening sessions at Nebraska Innovation Studio led by visiting entrepreneur Aaron Crumm.
Crumm is currently an adviser at Augment Ventures and an entrepreneur-in-residence at the University of Michigan, where he earned his doctorate in material science. His doctoral work led him to start Adaptive Materials Inc., a company that became an alternate energy market leader and was acquired in 2010. The company develops portable solid-oxide fuel-cell systems that run on readily available fuel.
Crumm is also certified through the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps, which serves as the foundation for the five-week Nebraska program. It offers an opportunity for researchers to understand the needs of likely customers — individuals or companies — and use that feedback to guide decisions about a startup company or technology commercialization.
“This customer-discovery training will provide new perspectives for academic scientists and aspiring entrepreneurs,” said Mauricio Suarez, NUtech Ventures director of business development. “By talking directly to potential customers, researchers will gain firsthand experience in testing and refining their ideas.”