UNeTech Institute and Bio Nebraska present Opportunity Corps - UNeTech Institute

Call for Applications

Last week, UNeTech Institute announced that we are collaborating with Bio Nebraska to present brand new programming designed for women in STEAM, thanks to a generous grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Today’s blog will dive deeper into that programming and also present some details about the application process for the program, which we are calling Opportunity Corps.

Opportunity Corps will serve as a ten-month education program, modeled loosely after the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps, and will match women academic and industry professionals in Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering, and Math with women Bio Nebraska in those subject areas. The program will focus on a different subject each month, with a one-day educational workshop session featuring special guests from the community, as well as one-on-one mentoring sessions with the mentors each month.

The program will be outlined like this:

  • February 11, 2022: Intros, Welcome, What is tech transfer?
  • March 11, 2022: Business Models & Customer Discovery
  • April 8, 2022: Value Propositions
  • May 13, 2022: Customer Profile
  • June 10, 2022: Ecosystem and Channels
  • June 8, 2022: Customer Relationships
  • August 12, 2022: Revenue Streams
  • September 9, 2022: Activities, Resources, and Partners
  • October 14, 2022: Team Presentations
  • November 4, 2022: Graduation and Celebration

Each Friday session will be structured with training sessions in the morning and presentations from local entrepreneurs, successful startup leaders, and local business owners in the afternoons. The focus throughout the program will be on women, the unique barriers they face in STEAM fields, and how to overcome those barriers.

Research shows women in STEAM fields often struggle to find mentors, and Opportunity Corps will provide a formal mentor structure as well as the chance for the participants to network with women outside of the program. According to DigiLeaders: “Both formal and informal mentorships create advantageous partnerships for women; this can be difficult when there are so few women in these fields and in some cases, one woman might be the only one in her workplace or department. Mentors can actively address situations that might not be inherently easy for newcomers like workplace politics, negotiations (for salary or promotion), and overall life-balancing mechanisms.”

Additionally, participants will be placed in teams together to turn invention ideas into potential commercialization through business strategy, branding, customer discovery, funding, and a pitch.

The focus throughout Opportunity Corps will be on the shared lived experiences of the women as inventors, entrepreneurs and innovators, and the best way to overcome the barriers they face because they are women.

“We are excited about the partnership’s ability to address barriers women face in entrepreneurship and STEAM careers through Opportunity Corps to create a pathway for more women leadership across Nebraska’s communities,” said Bio Nebraska associate director Sasha Forsen.

Women who currently work in STEAM in both academia or as industry professionals and have an interest in entrepreneurship, invention, innovation are encouraged to apply.

Applications for participants can be found HERE. Participation in the program is free thanks to a generous grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Applications are due Jan 5, 2022. Questions? Reach out directly to Stephanie Kidd at stephanie.kidd@unetech.org for more information.