“The Scientist Entrepreneur-Course” – Enabling tomorrow’s Healthcare Innovators

Learn how to develop and pitch a business idea in life science!

“The Scientist Entrepreneur-Course” will broaden your skillset to turn scientific discoveries into innovations that will impact the lives of many people and patients. Within just a few weeks, you will learn how to develop and pitch a business idea in life science. Equipped with entrepreneurial frameworks, you will experience immersive group work by simulating a startup founder team. The course consists of five lectures and four presentation rounds and is aimed at students, PhD candidates and postdocs.

The course currently takes place twice a year (Medical Faculty Mannheim and University of Heidelberg). In the winter semester, it is offered as part of the Master’s programme Molecular Biosciences at the Faculty of Biosciences at the University of Heidelberg. The BioMed X Institute actively fosters and supports this event.

The Goals

The course enables you to understand the steps from discovery to a diagnostic or therapeutic product. It is intended to provide you with skills and a mindset to promote the development of an entrepreneurial culture. Completing the course you will be able to

  • have a basic understanding of entrepreneurship and innovation including intellectual property and venture capital financing of startups
  • receive guidance how to come up with a viable and compelling business idea
  • pitch their business idea in front of a critical audience

The Content

Five lecture sessions cover the business model canvas (approved in many courses at Stanford University, Columbia University, and MIT), innovation management, the concept of product-market fit and the basics of startup financials.

All participants will be grouped in “founder teams” to jointly work on dedicated business ideas. Each founder team will receive a current research article/patent about an invention in the field of life sciences or health technology as a basis for a business idea to work on. With the knowledge gained during the lectures, teams will finally present their business idea in front of a critical audience (peers and lecturers).

The course concludes with four presentation rounds where every founder team will present their startup idea for 15 minutes, and run a 30 minutes Q&A session and receive feedback from the whole group. Each team will get a video recording of the presentation for self-evaluation. Important: you must not miss more than one lecture and more than one presentation round. And you can of course not miss the presentation round of your own team.

Texts, Materials, and Supplies
We will provide access to an online folder with all lectures (as pdf) and additional materials (e.g., articles, reading recommendations).

Technical Requirements
Participants need a computer with a microphone, a camera and access to the internet, because all lectures will be provided via ZOOM. The camera and the microphones are needed for the interaction during the lectures and the pitch presentations. Further technical details will be provided with an extra document and during a dedicated online meeting.

Since the capacity is limited, a registration is required.

The Heidelberg Team

We are active members in the regional innovation ecosystem and have been fostering entrepreneurship and teaching the startup ecosystem ever since 2013. To date about 400 scientists participated in our courses at Heidelberg University (Faculty for Biosciences and Medical Faculty Mannheim). In addition, we continuously support our alumnis successfully in their further entrepreneurial endeavours.

Dr. Christian Tidona
Founder & Managing Director
BioMed X Institute

Eva Markutzik
Senior Innovation Consultant

Dr. Bodo Brückner
Coordinator Life Science
Accelerator Baden-Württemberg

“The Scientist Entrepreneur-Course” Winter Semester 2021/2022

Due to COVID-19, also this year’s course will be held completely online on the following dates:

Intro Lecture:
October 27, 17.00-19.00h

  • Intro to Scientist Entrepreneur Course
  • Intro to Osterwalder ́s business model canvas in the context of life sciences
  • Pitching: tips and tricks
Lecture 1:
November 3, 17.00-19.00h

  • Structure of a typical pitch part 1
  • In depth intro to Osterwalder ́s business model canvas
  • Types of market and introduction to market analysis including market segmentation
  • Customer categories in digital health, medtech and biotech and customer types
Presentation round 1:
December 7, 17.00-19.00h
Lecture 2:
November 10, 17.00-19.00h

  • Structure of a typical pitch part 2
  • Introduction to the concept of a business model in biotech/pharma
  • Introduction to teams and their challenges
  • Introduction to key activities and key partners
  • Introduction to roadmaps and milestones
  • The concept of de-risking of a biotech/pharma asset
Presentation round 2:
December 8, 17.00-19.00h
Lecture 3:
November 17, 17.00-19.00h

  • The biotech/pharma development process and its challenges
  • The startup cash curve
  • Biotech funding: sources of capital, debt versus equity financing, venture capital investment criteria
  • Short intro to venture capital
  • Short intro to valuation and equity dilution
Presentation round 3:
December 14, 17.00-19.00h
Lecture 4:
November 24, 17.00-19.00h

  • Introduction to patents
  • Short introduction to trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights
  • Thoughts about contingency planning
Presentation round 4:
December 15, 17.00-19.00h

For further information about the course registration, please get in touch with your internal contact person or send an email to Eva-Maria Markutzik: markutzik@sommerrust.com

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