NSF I-Corps

The Sustainable Microgrids Partnership (SMP) team has been accepted to the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program’s summer 2020 cohort. The team is working with UW-Madison’s Discovery to Product to explore energy resilience technologies for various critical infrastructure applications like home health care, communication services, and critical businesses. The team is required to have over 100 conversations in about 7 weeks talking to different stakeholders in this space to understand research translation to help solve problems in the real world. 

Looking for connections and interviewees!

The goal of these interviews is to better understand the landscape and identify the pain-points for various stakeholders and entities in the health care and energy resilience space. 

Broadly, the team is looking to interview:

  1. Individuals working at home health care agencies, companies, hospitals, medical equipment manufacturers
  2. Individuals working at emergency response and preparedness agencies at city/state/national level
  3. Individuals and families that use electricity-dependent home medical devices
  4. Individuals and families that have experienced outages
  5. Businesses that can be severely affected by electricity outages – communication, manufacturing, food & medicine storage, and retail
  6. Solar installers, battery manufacturers, microgrid developers

More specifically, the team is looking for:

  • People who work with or at durable medical equipment (DME) provider companies (administration, care coordinators, home respiratory therapists (RT), nurses, designers, engineers etc.)
  • Connections within adult/pediatric Pulmonology clinics–pulmonologists, nurses, respiratory therapists, complex case managers, coordinated care managers, social workers, etc.
  • People at companies that make home medical devices like ventilators, i.e. Philips, Carefusion, etc. or home infusion devices
  • People involved in private healthcare insurance as well as Medicaid and Medicare
  • People involved in selling emergency power products – from home improvement stores (Menards, Home Depot, Ace) to generator companies and home residential energy backup solutions such as Generac, Tesla etc.
  • Patients who require electricity-dependent medical devices (ventilators, wheelchairs, etc)
  • Those in charge of emergency preparedness at hospitals or for cities/villages, municipalities
  • Individuals using portable/standby generators/in-home battery packs or other energy systems
  • Executives and decision makers at hospitals, home health care companies, critical infrastructure companies (food storage, manufacturing, communication services etc.)
  • Engineers and executives at solar installation companies, utilities, microgrid installation companies etc.

If you are active in this space, please consider scheduling a quick 20-minute virtual conversation with the team (between July 15 and Aug 26 2020) using the meeting link below. 

Schedule a Meeting


If you have connections in this space who would be willing to participate, please feel free to share the link to this page. 

For questions and concerns, please contact Ashray Manur at manur@wisc.edu



I-Corps Team

Ashray Manur
I-Corps Entrepreneurial Lead
Post-doctoral Research Associate

Aimee Arnoldussen
I-Corps Industrial Mentor
Innovation and Commercialization Specialist
Discovery to Product, UW-Madison

Maitreyee Marathe
I-Corps Co-Entrepreneurial Lead
Graduate Student

Prof. Giri Venkataramanan
I-Corps Technical Lead