The curriculum is divided into monthly themes presented throughout the year. In the early portion of the academic year, the topics focus on imparting the skills required for success in an innovation and/or entrepreneurial environment. Such skills include comprehending and protecting intellectual assets and aligning a product to meet a defined need. A major thrust of the early part of the syllabus is the utilization of contemporary opportunity analysis tools that include both qualitative and quantitative methods.
In the second part of the course, the focus turns to product development through the risk capital continuum. The Fellows will be exposed to the types of capital and portended product de-risking efforts that define sequential phases of development. Lectures and aligned readings will focus on the assets (e.g., investment capital and partner contributions) that can be accessed to drive product development as well as their related hurdles.
The course will conclude with a focus on how an innovator/entrepreneur conveys an opportunity and what information must be presented to financial and/or development partners. A Fellow’s ability to structure and deliver an opportunity presentation will be demonstrated at a commencement session to an audience consisting of investment capitalists, entrepreneurs and commercialization executives.
Throughout the year, the Fellows will work as teams to practice “hands on” skills via development of their own innovation ideas. It is recommended Fellows enter the program with an idea or a concept that they are interested in pursuing, but it is not mandatory. In alignment with the course, such ideas should focus on potential “digital solutions” to real world healthcare problems. All students will present their ideas to the class at the outset of the program and all ideas will then be assessed, eliminated, or pursued throughout the course.
Working with mentors from the Innovation Institute, Fellows will work on projects, vet ideas and develop the skills to dismiss (or “kill quickly”) products that are flawed, and pursue those that have merit. Collaboration and team building is an important part of this exercise and new ideas may evolve out of these collaborative efforts. It is likely that by the end of the program, several product concepts will have progressed to a position of warranting external consideration as legitimate commercialization opportunities. These potential products will be presented by the teams to visiting commercialization and investment leaders at the final class showcase.