General Discussion

NSF I-Corps Assistance Requested from Industry Professionals

  • 1.  NSF I-Corps Assistance Requested from Industry Professionals

    Posted 10-03-2018 11:48
    I'm a graduate student at the University of Tennessee who is the current Treasurer for our student chapter. I'm currently involved an NSF sponsored program called I-CORPS (, where I am developing a business model canvas for a hypothetical composites company. As part of this process, I am needing to speak with potential customers and suppliers to develop an understanding of the market and wants/needs.

    The product the company would produce is low-cost discontinuous fiber/thermoplastic organosheets (essentially thermoplastic prepregs using either recycled or low cost carbon fibers made into a nonwoven mat). This product would primarily be used in the automotive industry as an alternative to SMCs and other parts that are compression molded/stamped. The marine and general aviation aircraft industry may also be relevant. We would also be interested in speaking with suppliers of thermoplastic films (e.g., PPS, ABS, PP, etc.) and low cost carbon fibers, as an understanding of the supply chain will be necessary.
    I've got a team member who is also a SAMPE member who will be assisting me with conducting 20 interviews in 2 weeks as part of this program. If you offer to help, I may not be the one to reach out to you (you would hear from either Hicham Ghossein or myself). If anybody is able to assist us, we would greatly appreciate your help. We are looking for a 10-15 minute phone interview (though email will work if needed). If you are not qualified to speak on behalf of your company, we can maintain anonymity in the reports that will be submitted as part of this program. We aren't a real company, so there hopefully wouldn't be any issues with speaking to students about your experiences in the industry. You can either respond to this post or contact me directly at


    Philip Barnett