Bioscience Entrepreneurs Navigate Funding Options in Inaugural Course


Stephanie Marrus, who heads the UCSF Center for BioEntrepreneurship, speaks to students during the five-week summer course, "Financing a New Venture," aimed at bioscience entrepreneurs looking to secure funding.
Shuvo Roy, PhD

Shuvo Roy, PhD, who is leading the implantable artificial kidney project at UCSF, listens to an Aug. 7 lecture by CleaveBio CEO Laura Shawver, PhD.

A first-of-its-kind UCSF course to help bioscience entrepreneurs secure funding met with high interest and overflowing classrooms during its five-week run this summer. The class, “Financing a New Venture,” was created by the UCSF Center for BioEntrepreneurship and presented a real-world view of financing startups in challenging economic times.

“I’m gratified to see the extent of entrepreneurial interest on campus and the energy in the classroom,” said Stephanie Marrus, who heads the Center for BioEntrepreneurship.  “Most of the participants are engaged in a venture currently or actively thinking about doing a startup.”

Laura Shawver, PhD

CleaveBio CEO Laura Shawver, PhD, speaks as a guest lecturer about her experiences raising the first round of venture funding for her company.

The course, which ran July 10 to Aug. 7, enrolled 78 participants from the UCSF and UC Berkeley communities, including PhD students, post docs, researchers, faculty, staff and Medical Center personnel, as well as outside industry. The classes featured top-tier industry guest lecturers representing a foundation, an angel investment group and a venture capital firm, as well as a corporate attorney and a CEO who recently raised venture capital funding.

The Center for BioEntrepreneurship is part of the office of Innovation, Technology and Alliances, which transfers UCSF knowledge and research into public benefit through innovative alliances and the creation of new companies.

The center is initiating a number of additional courses, a Speakers’ Series with topics of interest to entrepreneurs, an Entrepreneurs Club and mentoring opportunities.  More details are available through the Innovation, Technology and Alliances website.