Steve Blank is a Silicon Valley legend. He started several tech companies, got stinking rich, and retired young. Except he didn't really retire. He gives his time to the California Coastal Commission, Audubon California, and a host of other causes.
He has also devoted his boundless energy to teaching at Stanford, U.C. Berkeley, and Columbia. His reputation as a creative, inspiring instructor led to an intriguing proposition from the National Science Foundation--find a way to turn scientists into entrepreneurs.
The result is I-Corps, an eight-week course that trains three-person teams. The teams are typically comprised of a professor, a grad student or post-doctoral fellow, and a mentor from the private sector.
Blank's role in turning brilliant but head-in-the-clouds professors into businessmen is profiled in the Aug. 20 edition of Forbes Magazine.
The NSF is so pleased with the initial success of I-Corps that it's expanding beyond Stanford to other college campuses.