Lab2Market Oceans

Lab2Market Oceans is a national program for university research teams to explore their ocean research idea in a new way and identify commercial opportunities (e.g., startup creation, licensing, partnering with industry). It encourages researchers to take their findings beyond the typical academic path and into the world of innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization.

Based on the US I-Corps program, Lab2Market Oceans fosters an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset in postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and faculty. The seven-week program teaches entrepreneurial methodologies and business best practices, with topics such as market sizing, stakeholder engagement, intellectual property, regulatory processes, revenue stream, cost structure, and more.

A significant part of the program focuses on customer discovery; teams will interview 15 potential customers each week to gain an understanding of customer’s challenges, validate or invalidate business hypotheses, and receive constructive feedback, all while building meaningful relationships with prospective clients or partners. The process determines whether there is product-market fit and allows participants to translate their findings to product design, business model building or further research and development.


  • Applicants must be a graduate student (Master's or Ph.D. level) or a postdoctoral fellow (graduated within five years)
  • Project must be realistic and technically feasible 
  • Project must be the focus of the graduate student/postdoctoral fellow applicant's study and research
  • Graduate student/postdoctoral fellow must receive permission from their research supervisor to take seven weeks to work on Lab2Market Oceans full-time (minimum 35 hours/week)

For full details and application steps click here 



Contact Name: 
Brandie Lea
Grant Amount: 
$15,000 stipend to graduate students or postdoctoral fellows
Grant Location: 
External Deadline: 
Monday, April 4, 2022
Internal Deadline: 
Monday, April 4, 2022
Grant Type: 
Grant Area: 
Grant Eligibility: