An initiative of Know Hub Chile and Hub APTA in collaboration with UC Riverside to promote a cultural change in academia.

Beyond Academy is a program that Know Hub Chile carries out together with the APTA Hub and in collaboration with UC Riverside, whose purpose is to trigger a cultural transformation in universities, fostering a culture of innovation among researchers.

The program consists of a bootcamp and six theoretical and practical workshops, which train teams led by researchers – and composed of students, thesis students, and professionals – in the methodology of customer discovery and construction of a value proposition. This is based on the validation of working hypotheses with information from potential customers and other stakeholders (I-Corps). The objective is for researchers to validate that there is a relevant problem in a market segment and that their R&D project can be oriented towards results that are useful and therefore marketable. This is why it is beneficial to make this diagnosis as early as possible. The teams work on their own R&D&I projects, monitored weekly by a team of mentors and professionals from Know Hub Chile.

In 2020, the corporation decided to teach the iCorps-based methodology outside its meetings, offering it as a program for its partners as a way to reach more researchers. A Beyond Academy pilot program was conducted between November and December 2020 in conjunction with the APTA Hub and led by UC Riverside.

After having gained experience, Know Hub Chile and Hub APTA decided to jointly carry out this initiative under the name Beyond Academy, in 2021, with the support of mentors from UC Riverside.

Stages of Beyond Academy

Introductory Bootcamp that addresses issues related to customer segment, value

  • 6 weeks of training: Weekly one-on-one and group mentoring, classes, and at least two interviews per week conducted by the teams.

Beyond Academy in Figures (2020-2021)

21  research teams

2020: 12 teams

2021: 9 teams

14  institutions

116 researchers and managers

+110 hours of mentoring

+200 interviews with industry stakeholders


“This program provided us with a better perspective. Now, we are able to build a business because we have a better understanding of what the customer needs.” Eduardo Tapia, INIA researcher and leader of BioAg Tech.

“Applied R&D projects teams generally do not have the necessary tools to connect with end users early on. Beyond Academy aims to close that gap, increasing the chances of reaching the market.” Carlos Ladrix, Deputy Director of Applied Research and Innovation at ANID

“Thanks to the customer discovery methodology, I learned that the needs of the industry are very different from the approaches of academia. Now we focus not only on the basic science, but on how to get that basic science to have an impact and application.” Rodrigo Andler, a researcher at the Universidad Católica del Maule, Chile.

“The I-corps methodology is key for us, as it is essential in the process of commercializing technologies. It is a first step that saves researchers time and money. It contributes to building relationships with industry in the early stage of the technology.” Alexandra Orozco, Beyond Academy mentor and Associate Director of International Partnerships for UCR’s Office of Technology Partnerships.

“The program gives you tools, teaches you to question potential clients, to anticipate difficulties, and to broaden your outlook.” Juanita Castañeda, CEO of Prime Tech, winners of Know Hub Ignition 2019

“When we worked with Know Hub the way you are now, it took about 4 months for us to discover our customers and figure out how we were going to reach them. I can advise you to take advantage of this program, because it was very useful for us.” Jaime Rovegno, Co-founder of Photio, winner of Know Hub Ignition 2020