Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Education
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Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Education
This collection of articles, publications and resources is curated to support the CSU I-Corps, as well as other knowledge- and technology-transfer efforts across the California State University.
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Moving From Academia To Successful Biotech: Optimizing Tech Transfer

Bruce Booth writes from a VC perspective on technology transfer (academia to start-up company).  He agrees with the CSU I-Corps perspective that PI/inventors should be at the table during tech transfer discussions: "Many institutions (not all) treat their scientific faculty as employees rather than partners in their tech transfer process: as soon as business discussions around the proposed terms begin, the investigators aren’t often in the conversation. This creates a weird and inappropriate dynamic – sort of like dismissing the children from the table so the adults can talk shop."  From a CSU I-Corps perspective - how can we support PIs so they are ready to sit at the table?
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University Pre-Accelerators the New Hot Trend, But What Are They? | SSTI

University Pre-Accelerators the New Hot Trend, But What Are They? | SSTI | Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Education | Scoop.it

Over the last few months, a number of universities across the country have launched pre-accelerator programs – a new trend that has emerged in university-led efforts to support entrepreneurial growth among faculty and students.

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Informative blog post that reviews campus-based support programs for nascent academic entrepreneurs.  You can categorize CSU I-Corps programming as a "pre-accelerator" program.

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Are "Better" Ideas More Likely to Succeed?

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This is an important paper investigating the age-old question, can we pick "winners" from early-stage, unproven academic discoveries and invention disclosures? And - if so - how? "Can new businesses be meaningfully differentiated as early-stage ideas, before there is a legal entity or any funding?"  The key here is a mentoring network of industry professionals, or domain experts.  The network was established to gauge "enthusiasm" for an idea (life sciences or medical devices only); early enthusiasm did correlate with successful commercialization.  It's well-established that domain expertise is a key to biotech commercialization; Lubynsky and coauthors provide some empirical proof to that assumption.

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Stimulating and Supporting Change in Entrepreneurship Education: Lessons from Institutions on the Front Lines: American Society for Engineering Education

Stimulating and Supporting Change in Entrepreneurship Education: Lessons from Institutions on the Front Lines: American Society for Engineering Education | Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Education | Scoop.it
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The authors assess how entrepreneurship education is added to the undergraduate engineering curriculum across 50 different universities involved in the Pathways to Innovation (Pathways) program (http://epicenter.stanford.edu/page/pathways-to-innovation)

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Getting Real: The Latest In University-Business Partnerships

Getting Real: The Latest In University-Business Partnerships | Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Education | Scoop.it
An in-depth report on the next generation of university-business partnerships reveals several interesting trends for training a highly-skilled workforce.
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This article starts off skating the surface of university-industry partnerships - but in the end it provides a comprehensive, up-to-the-minute view of what works and why.  Recommended read!

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NIH Looking to Kick-Start Biotech Startups

NIH Looking to Kick-Start Biotech Startups | Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Education | Scoop.it
Agency will offer I-Corps entrepreneurship boot camps
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A very accurate and realistic view of the I-Corps program.  It isn't all about new company formation (in fact many of us think too many bioscience researchers start companies way too early merely to qualify for SBIR funding and gain additional research funding). It is important to recognize efficiency in commercialization is important - especially in the life sciences where clinical trials drive up product development costs quickly.  One way to improve commercialization efficiency is with entrepreneurship education.

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Get the Heck Out of the Building in Founder's School: Part 2

Get the Heck Out of the Building in Founder's School: Part 2 | Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Education | Scoop.it
With a ~$2 billion endowment the Kauffman Foundation is the largest non-profit focused on entrepreneurship in the world. Giving away $80 million to every year (~$25 million to entrepreneurial cause...
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Great set of videos from Steve Blank and the Kauffman Foundation.  The series of modules addresses customer discovery and definition - the step most nascent academic entrepreneurs (especially in the life sciences) avoid until the last possible (and often too late) moment.   The videos should be of interest to entrepreneurship educators, I-Corps teams and, yes, nascent academic entrepreneurs!

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2014 Talent Integration: California Workforce Trends in the Life Science Industry

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BIOCOM Institute, BayBio Institute, the East Bay Biomedical Manufacturing Network, and the California Community Colleges combined resources to publish this biotechnology workforce trends report.  A must-read for any scientist, engineer or entrepreneur thinking about working in this industry.

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Lean LaunchPad Educators' Teaching Handbook

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NCIIA has done a nice service by publishing this handbook (January 2013).  It does a great job introducing the Business Model Canvas as a weekly tracking tool for product concept development.

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It’s Time to Play Moneyball: The Investment Readiness Level

It’s Time to Play Moneyball: The Investment Readiness Level | Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Education | Scoop.it
Investors sitting through Incubator or Accelerator demo days have three metrics to judge fledgling startups – 1) great looking product demos, 2) compelling PowerPoint slides, and 3) a world-class t...
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

Steve Blank is adopting an "investment readiness" scale to grade product concepts based on academic discoveries and research. I think it's a pragmatic way to demonstrate the gap between typical work done in an NIH-funded setting to work with commercialization potential.  While it's not fool-proof or hype-proof - I do think it's a nice framing device to use when talking to PIs about technology commercialization. 

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Don’t Underestimate the Undergraduates

Don’t Underestimate the Undergraduates | Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Education | Scoop.it
Jim Hornthal splits his time between venture capital, entrepreneurship and education. Jim has founded six companies, including Preview Travel, one of the first online travel agencies, which went pu...
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

Jim Hornthal (Princeton) reviews his Topics in Entrepreneurship course using Steve Blank's "lessons learned" format.  Many of Hornthal's findings echo CSUPERB's experience with the Biotechnology Early-Stage Commercialization Challenge - the undergraduates are equally capable as the graduate students!  One theory that keeps cropping up is that undergrads are more likely to listen and learn from industry experts and potential customers than graduate students/postdoc/faculty researchers who are wedded to their science/ideas/technology.  Coach-ability is a wonderful trait for all entrepreneurs at any and all levels!

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Lean LaunchPad for Life Sciences - Value Proposition and Customers

Lean LaunchPad for Life Sciences - Value Proposition and Customers | Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Education | Scoop.it
We’re deep into teaching a Lean LaunchPad class for Life Sciences and Health Care (therapeutics, diagnostics, devices and digital health) at UCSF with a team of veteran venture capitalists. (The cl...
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

NSF funded Steve Blank and UCSF to explore the application of Lean LaunchPad ideas to life science commercialization. This blog entry describes the broad and very different customer segments underneath the life science industry umbrella.  This is probably the number one lesson of the CSUPERB-I2P early-stage biotech commercialization challenge - hopefully Blank's videos and vignettes will move teams past this conceptual barrier earlier!

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How to Tissue-Engineer a Startup

How to Tissue-Engineer a Startup | Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Education | Scoop.it
How is working with stem cells like founding a startup? One entrepreneur who has done both explains.  By Ivana Gadjanski (Co-founder & Chief Science Officer, Pubsonic) I’m a stem cell scientist. I’m an entrepreneur.
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Women 2.0 is an "online magazine" for aspirational women entrepreneurs.  This story features a stem cell researcher/entrepreneur and gives voice to "how it's done" - that is - at least one researcher's opinion!

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Kauffman's Startup Activity Index Report - 2016

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Kauffman Foundation updated their methodology used to measure regionality and demographics of entrepreneurship across America. "The Startup Activity Index rose in 2015—reversing a downward trend that started in 2010—experiencing the largest year-over-year increase from the past two decades."
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Steve Blank, Founder of Lean Startup Movement, On Entrepreneurship in Healthcare and Life Sciences (INTERVIEW) | Medgadget

Steve Blank, Founder of Lean Startup Movement, On Entrepreneurship in Healthcare and Life Sciences (INTERVIEW) | Medgadget | Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Education | Scoop.it
Steve Blank needs no introduction as the man who started up the Lean Startup movement (in case you need one, find it here on his blog). But, you may not be
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In which Steve Blank explains, "Successful healthcare [=biotech] innovators are domain experts. The business of healthcare is not intuitively obvious to those outside of healthcare. There are many more moving parts, such as product-market fit, regulation, intellectual property, reimbursement, clinical trials – all those things that are on the “left side” of the Business Model Canvas – whereas, in other domains, once you find product market fit, you are off to the races. And all of this changes depending on if you are working on health software, diagnostics, devices, etc."

How do nascent academic entrepreneurs gain domain expertise? The key is building a network of mentors and advisors...something I-Corps forces researchers to do!

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Integrating Entrepreneurship into Capstone Design: An Exploration of Faculty Perceptions and Practices: American Society for Engineering Education

Integrating Entrepreneurship into Capstone Design: An Exploration of Faculty Perceptions and Practices: American Society for Engineering Education | Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Education | Scoop.it
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Wonderful paper with much background citations comparing student learning outcomes based on immersive entrepreneurship education with other high-impact practices like undergraduate research. The authors conclude: "Faculty members who are able to implement more entrepreneurially focused Capstones are aware of the notion that entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial experiences encompass more than starting ventures. As discussed by Gilmartin et al., venture creation is only one of the skills entrepreneurship education may foster. Frequently, programs and courses focus on the development of entrepreneurial mindset, as well as business and leadership skills."

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7 Ways Universities Are (Finally) Getting With the Entrepreneurship Program

7 Ways Universities Are (Finally) Getting With the Entrepreneurship Program | Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Education | Scoop.it
In a race for relevance, universities up the entrepreneurial ante.
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Nice summary of the entrepreneurial education needed on campuses today (students, faculty and administrators!)!

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I-Corps @ NIH – Pivoting the Curriculum

I-Corps @ NIH – Pivoting the Curriculum | Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Education | Scoop.it
We’ve pivoted our Lean LaunchPad / I-Corps curriculum. We’re changing the order in which we teach the business model canvas and customer development to better-fit therapeutics, diagnostics and medi...
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

After testing out the I-Corps curriculum during Fall 2013, Steve Blank's team learned some tweaks were needed for the life sciences.  The teaching team ran into the usual "buzz saw" of customer definition, IP and regulatory environment that foils many biotech/life science teams - nascent, novice and serial entrepreneurs alike!

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From Lab Bench to Innovation: Critical Challenges to Nascent Academic Entrepreneurs by Roman Lubynsky :: SSRN

From Lab Bench to Innovation: Critical Challenges to Nascent Academic Entrepreneurs by Roman Lubynsky :: SSRN | Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Education | Scoop.it
University research laboratories are important sources of the inventions and discoveries that become significant innovations with broad economic and societal im
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

In my opinion this important 2013 paper makes key and insightful points about academic research-based innovation and "nascent academic entrepreneurs (NAEs).  The report is based on a dissertataion by Lubynsky, who works with MIT's venture mentoring service.  A must-read for any academic administrator or policy maker involved with biotechnology entrepreneurship and technology transfer.

 

Includes these important quotes:  

"The NAEs in this study spent an average of over nine years from initial exploration of the venture idea to reaching an outcome. Of that time, more than 68 percent was spent in the RBSU phase."

and

"The NAEs collectively raised about $120 million in financing through grants and equity investment. Of this, over $70 million was raised before the TBSU phase and over 80 percent came from various grants, such as the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program."

and

"They all concluded that the technology could not yet be effectively used or licensed by others, and that unless they started a venture to continue to advance the research, it would never see the light of day."

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Open Innovation Handbook for Researchers

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Holmberg, Norrman & Theander (Innovations-Kontor Vast, Sweden) have done a wonderful service for the academic research community. This 2013 handbook defines evolving terms used in the open innovation community (follow along at http://www.openinnovation.net/). Wonderful resource with many "clickable" links embedded.

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Leaning Out the Life Sciences: Interview with Steve Blank

Leaning Out the Life Sciences: Interview with Steve Blank | Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Education | Scoop.it
Steve Blank, ©Eric Millette If you are an entrepreneur, you probably already know who Steve Blank is. If you want to be an entrepreneur, you definitely
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

A great look back by Medgadget at Steve Blank's experience working with academic,  "nascent," life sciences  entrepreneurs. It also provides a really nice background on why biotechnology entrepreneurship might be different - but also the same as other sectors. These are lessons we've learned via the CSUPERB-I2P early-stage biotech commercialization challenge, as well!

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Why A Startup Is Not A Big Company

Why A Startup Is Not A Big Company
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Kaufmann Foundation sponsors a series featuring Steve Blank and his ideas about the fundamental differences between a start-up company and an established one.   Important distinction to make and especially important for academic researchers deciding what kind of university-industry partnerships might be interesting or useful. 

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Lesson Learned in Medical Devices

Lesson Learned in Medical Devices | Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Education | Scoop.it
This post is part of our series on the National Science Foundation I-Corps Lean LaunchPad class in Life Science and Health Care at UCSF.
Susan M. Baxter's insight:

This is a terrifically helpful post from the NSF-funded Lean LaunchPad class at UCSF.  Compared to other posts on the class, the 'lessons learned' in this blog entry from Steve Blank is the most representative of academic biotechnology commercialization in my experience.  The learning arc the KNOX team experiences is very similar to the experiences of three years of CSUPERB-I2P Challenge Teams we've worked with as well.  I call it the "buzzsaw" of biotech customer definition - it can be daunting to even the most experienced venture capitalists as well as student entrepreneurs!  I recommend you watch BOTH the videos embedded in the blog post if you're interested in mentoring or forming a bioengineering/medical device-oriented I-Corps team!

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The Ice House Manner and Mindset of Teaching Entrepreneurship

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Nifty sketchbook video (< 3min) from Kauffman Foundation that explains what entrepreneurship really is not....and why entrepreneurship education needs to encourage a mindset (not a set of disciplinary subjects). 

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Finding better ways to negotiate biotech intellectual property

Finding better ways to negotiate biotech intellectual property
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It doesn't supplant real legal advice - but Kauffman reports on Partnering for Cures meeting recommendations on negotiating life science intellectual property.

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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, February 13, 2014 7:34 AM
Finding better ways to negotiate biotech intellectual property