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CSU I-Corps connects a diverse group of university researchers with biotechnology industry




CSU I-Corps organized a bio-entrepreneurship workshop for 24 early-career researchers from universities nationwide during the June 2017 Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) International Conference in San Diego.

The Young Invincibles report that 51% of young Americans own or want to start a business. In fact, young (ages 18-24) Hispanic and African Americans are even more motivated to start their own businesses. However, according to the Kauffman Foundation, "less than 10 percent of start-up investment goes to women, and less than 1 percent goes to people of color." (Ross Baird )

With funding from the National Science Foundation and sponsorship from BIO, the CSU I-Corps workshop introduced a diverse group of university-based researchers to biotechnology commercialization concepts and took advantage of the expert network at BIO 2017.

The organizing committee included the CSU I-Corps teaching team and leaders of The American Society of Microbiology's ABRCMS program, Biocom Institute, California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI), and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).

Chad Womack, National Director of STEM Initiatives at UNCF, said the workshop enhanced "diversity and inclusion in the bio-industry, while empowering participants with cutting-edge strategies for startup entrepreneurship in the life sciences." "We hope the Bio-entrepreneurship Workshop will become an integral part of BIO conventions in the future and help expand the ecosystem for life science innovation," explained Lori Lindburg, CEO/President of CLSI.

One workshop participant writes, "My a-ha moment came to me at the end of the workshop. I realized that with enough customer discovery, I can develop or design a potential product that can be brought to market."

CSU I-Corps is working with National Innovation Network partners at the University of New Hampshire and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to offer the workshop at BIO 2018 in Boston.

Read more about the workshop here: