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BIO-Entrepreneurship Capstone Program

Do you have an interest in life science entrepreneurship and improving public health but aren't sure where to start? 

NIH presents the free 2024 BIO-Entrepreneurship Capstone, covering Lean Startup fundamentals, customer discovery, intellectual property, and more, taught by certified instructors and product development experts with real-world experience.

Interest in Promoting Diversity

Every facet of the United States scientific research enterprise from basic laboratory research to clinical and translational research to policy formation requires superior intellect, creativity, and a wide range of skill sets and viewpoints. NIH’s ability to help ensure that the nation remains a global leader in scientific discovery and innovation is dependent upon a pool of highly talented scientists from diverse backgrounds who will help to further NIH's mission. 

Research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogeneous teams.  Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems.  There are many benefits that flow from a diverse NIH-supported scientific workforce, including: fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments, improving the quality of research, advancing the likelihood that underserved populations and those that experience health disparities and inequities participate in and benefit from health research, and enhancing public trust.  For more information, see NOT-OD-20-031: Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity.

To help promote a diverse entrepreneurial research workforce within the life science industry, NIH  encourages eligible individuals from diverse backgrounds, including individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups to register to participate in the program.  Students, postgraduate fellows, and early career faculty from resource-limited institutions, as well as HBCUs, HSIs, and Tribal Colleges and  Universities are also encouraged to participate.

Who should apply

The BIO-Entrepreneurship Capstone is open to students, postgraduate fellows, and early career faculty in the life sciences

Candidates who are new to the NIH funding ecosystem are encouraged to register, as no prior funding or active NIH project experience is required. 

Program Stages

The program consists of three stages, with gated advancement through each stage.

Stage 1: Introduction to Life Science Entrepreneurship and Commercialization

Dates: February 29 - March 28

Interactive sessions on 

  • The R&D lifecycle for biomedical innovations
  • Understanding preclinical R&D: basic vs translational, preclinical development and validation
  • The role of the FDA and the clinical trials process
  • Fundamental principles of Design Thinking and Lean Startup methodology
  • Problem identification and understanding the customer
  • Developing and validating your business hypothesis
  • Developing and building a prototype
  • Making the pivot toward a minimum viable product (MVP)

At the end of six weeks, participants should be able to:

  • Characterize unmet market needs
  • Identify key product attributes
  • Conduct customer and stakeholder interviews
  • Validate business opportunities

Stage 2: Product Development

Dates: April 25 - May 23

Participants will be selected for a limited number of slots based on Stage 1 performance and project proposals. Participants are required to form or join entrepreneurial teams for a deeper immersion into advanced customer discovery, market research, validating business hypotheses, intellectual property management, and entrepreneurial leadership mentoring and coaching. 

Stage 3: BIO International Convention Preparation & Presentation

Dates: June 1 - June 6 

Participation is on a competitive basis after the successful completion of Stages 1 and 2. Selected participants will receive entrepreneurial coaching and mentoring and will attend the 2024 BIO International Convention (June 3-6, 2024) in San Diego. Participants may also have the opportunity to present their project to life science industry representatives.

For more information about the program, see NOT-OD-24-051

Registration is closed.

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