The Next Step to Becoming a Biotech Entrepreneur

Are you interested in starting a career in biotech, but aren’t sure where to start? Or, do you have an idea that could change the future, but need more education before you take the leap? Then the Graduate Certificate in Biomedical Entrepreneurship might be for you. 

This new program that starts in the fall of 2021, will feature four courses that will help students learn how to solve big problems in biotech through the power of developing an entrepreneurial mindset. Two of the leaders of this program, Dr. Michael Mathis and Dr. Thomas Cunningham from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at HSC sat down with the Innovate Fort Worth team to discuss the new certificate program and who should apply. 

The Graduate Certificate in Biomedical Entrepreneurship is an online program that “seeks to educate the next generation of biotech innovators through four courses that offer additional education with real world application.” 

Dr. Mathis and Dr. Cunningham broke down the Who, What, When, Where and Why of this program and why you, or someone you know, should apply.  

Who is the program for? 

Anyone! This program is being offered to existing HSC students and to people from the community who may not be existing HSC students. You do not need a graduate degree, or a PhD, nor do you need to be pursuing either one to participate in this program. 

“The diversity of experience and opinions is going to make the whole program better. So, the more people we can get from the outside to join our existing students, the better off the program is going to be.” 

What does the program include? 

There are four classes that make up the certificate program and they can be completed within two semesters. 

“The two foundational courses begin with helping our students define what is entrepreneurship in a broad sense and discuss problem solving and mindset. In the second course we begin talking about applications of entrepreneurship but in a real-world setting. The third course goes even deeper but talks about it from the biomedical and biotechnology point of view. The fourth course is a capstone where students get the opportunity to take their ideas and apply it in a real-world setting.” 

“One of the things we’re going to do is ask the students to create an impact statement the first week of their first course. To do that we want them to connect with their motivation and to figure out what biotechnology space, what healthcare delivery space, do they feel passionate about. Then we’re going to ask them to do a series of iterations where they explore that motivation and come up with projects and pilot them, break them, and build them back up again so hopefully when it’s time for their capstone they’ve come up with a project that’s tied to that motivation and their passion. Then they can take it forward into whatever kind of space it’s going to lead them to in order to solve a particular related problem.” 

When is the program being offered? 

Applications are now open for the Fall 2021 semester. The deadline is July 31st.  Apply Now! 

 “We plan to make most of these classes available almost every semester, including summer, so that when somebody wants to start the program, they can do it on their own schedule.”  

Where is the program being offered? 

The GSBS is offering the courses 100% online with the average time frame of two semesters to complete the 12 credit hours. 

“We’ve designed the courses so they can be really flexible to meet the needs of a variety of students, but all four courses can be completed in two long semesters.”  

Why is this program being offered? 

Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to start a business. It doesn’t mean you have to invent something and have it commercialized and/or reproduced to the billionth degree. Being an entrepreneur is being an innovator and can mean having an idea, thinking outside the box, or acquiring a different skillset. This program is being offered through HSC because they want to give their students additional skills to help them work in different sectors like biotech-based entrepreneurship.  

Interested in becoming a biotechnology entrepreneur? Then this graduate-level certificate program in biotech entrepreneurship is for you.

“Entrepreneurship can be seen as a process, same as the scientific method. There’s a lot of overlap in the two processes in terms of problem solving, but the mindset and approach that you use to solve the problems are a little bit different. What we’re trying to do is introduce that culture on our campus and make it available so that people will be able to work in that space and understand both processes so that everybody will benefit.”  

“… we know that 70% of our graduates are not interested in pursuing a career in academia, they’re really interested in going out into the biotech sector, into that environment, and we have to prepare them with the kind of skillset that will be applicable to real-world problems that they’re going to face.” 

“As they go through the program they’ll learn about entrepreneurship. They’ll learn new ways to problem solve, think outside of the box and use different models to address long-term existing problems. By trying to help them connect their passion and their interests to this type of problem solving, we hope that it will provide them with a level of motivation to really push the boundaries and come forth with really innovative solutions.” 

What now? If you’re interested in applying for the program, the deadline for Fall 2021 is July 31st

Do you have more questions regarding the program? Check out their website for a breakdown of application requirements, curriculum, future opportunities and course schedule options. You can also contact the HSC GSBS Admissions Office at Admissions@unthsc.edu or (817) 735-2789. 

Don’t forget to listen to the whole Innovate Fort Worth podcast episode, Solving Problems with Science, for additional information regarding the program, or you can watch the interview below.