WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives today approved the Innovators to Entrepreneurs Act (H.R. 5086) on a bipartisan vote of 379-16. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) and cosponsored by Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), provides several updates to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program, including a requirement that the NSF develop a course to support commercialization-ready research ventures.

Chairman Smith: The Innovators to Entrepreneurs Act extends the NSF I-Corps program to include entrepreneurial coursework to students wishing to commercially develop their ideas. This bill strengthens the thriving I-Corps program and bolsters innovation. I appreciate Rep. Lipinksi and Rep. Webster’s bipartisan work on this issue.”

Rep. Lipinksi: “This bill will help turn more scientists and engineers into entrepreneurs, unleashing American innovation and creating new jobs. America’s future depends on job creation through innovation, and I-Corps is a program that has proven to be successful in helping turn federally-funded research into innovative products and services. By increasing the accessibility of I-Corps, this bill will significantly increase the return on our research investment and keep America at the cutting edge of innovation. I want to thank Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Johnson for their leadership in the Science Committee, as well as the lead cosponsor, Mr. Webster of Florida, and Sen. Coons, who is leading a companion bill in the Senate.”

Rep. Webster: “Hardworking, innovative Americans across the country are developing innovative solutions and next generation products every day. Too often, they hit a roadblock in taking these from inventions to successful products and services. The bill we passed tonight addresses this by adding a course to the proven Innovation Corps program. We have witnessed the wonderful success of I-Corps in my home state of Florida, and across the nation, and I thank my colleagues for their support.”


The I-Corps program trains and prepares scientists and engineers to advance their research results into entrepreneurial opportunities.

This bill:

  • Expands the pool of eligible participants for I-Corps courses by allowing a portion of Small Business Innovation Research grants and Small Business Technology Transfer grants to be used to fund I-Corps training expenses and by allowing private citizens to apply to participate and pay out-of-pocket
  • Authorizes a new I-Corps course for commercial-ready research ventures that teaches skills involving company organization, attracting investors, and hiring

H.R. 5086 was introduced on February 26, 2018, and approved by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on March 22, 2018.

Text of the bill can be found here.