MEDIA ADVISORY: Pioneering UCSF Entrepreneurship Course Tackles Startup Struggles in Life Sciences

Teams from UC San Francisco, UC Berkeley, Stanford and Industry Report Lessons Learned

WHAT:  Hear 26 teams of physicians, scientists and students present what they learned about moving their ideas from the lab or clinic to the marketplace in the nation’s first course on applying the Lean Launchpad model of entrepreneurship to the bioscience, medical devices and digital health sectors.

The course, Lean LaunchPad for Life Sciences & Healthcare, is a pioneering class at UCSF that is adapting an entrepreneurial model developed by Silicon Valley’s Steve Blank for the technology sector to help entrepreneurs launch new life-science companies. The course, which was funded by the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program and taught by a team of veteran venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, reverses the traditional focus in scientific startups by looking first at the market, rather than the technology or science, in assessing the commercial potential of their ideas. Coursework includes interviewing 100 potential customers or market participants before finalizing concepts.

Media are invited to attend the final class in the 10-week course to hear the teams present their ideas and lessons learned.

WHEN: Tuesday, December 10 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Genetech Hall, Byers Auditorium, UCSF Mission Bay Campus, 600 16th Street, San Francisco (map, with parking).

MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES:Media are invited to attend and record any part of the class, as well as to conduct interviews with Steve Blank and UCSF experts and participants.

BACKGROUND: UCSF is the leading university exclusively focused on health, with a public mission to translate world-class science into public benefit through new companies and advances in health worldwide. One of the largest holders of life science patents in the nation, UCSF offers a variety of programs to encourage new company formation through its Entrepreneurship Center, in the Office of Innovation, Technology and Alliances. Steve Blank is a Silicon Valley serial-entrepreneur and educator who is recognized for developing the Customer Development method that launched the Lean Startup movement. He spent most of his career in the high-tech industry and has cofounded eight startup companies of his own, four of which went public. NSF statistics show that companies that have gone through the I-Corps program are three times more likely to receive funding through the Small Business Innovation Research program than their counterparts who have not.

CONTACT: Media interested in covering the event should RSVP to Laura Kurtzman at laura.kurtzman@ucsf.edu or 415-476-3163.