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Academic Entrepreneurship Fundamentals: A Professional Development Course

Developed by the CHOP Innovation Ecosystem

Published onApr 10, 2023
Academic Entrepreneurship Fundamentals: A Professional Development Course

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  • This Release (#10) was created on Jul 24, 2023 ()
  • The latest Release (#11) was created on Sep 21, 2023 ().

Are you curious about the role of entrepreneurship in moving science forward into medical innovation, but don’t know where to start?

All Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) or University of Pennsylvania (Penn) faculty, staff, and personnel, including trainees, are encouraged to apply for a free professional development course on Academic Entrepreneurship that starts October 4, 2023.

Apply now!

What is Academic Entrepreneurship?

The CHOP Innovation Ecosystem team defines academic entrepreneurship as “the intentional focus on translating science and technology developed in academic settings into health impact via commercialization routes.” Academic entrepreneurs perform many activities from within an academic setting and often with others' ideas (i.e., most academic entrepreneurs are not hoping to become CEOs of new companies).

Who should apply?

This course is designed for anyone interested in using entrepreneurship to make medical innovations accessible to patients. All CHOP or Penn faculty, staff, and personnel, including trainees, are welcome to apply! No previous entrepreneurship experience is required.

What does this program entail?

Seven weekly, 3-hour, in-person skill-building sessions, plus mentorship/coaching from current academic entrepreneurs (and snacks).


Course Introduction & Key Considerations: Communication, Costs, & Common Pitfalls 


Defining/Refining the Problem: Customer Discovery & Articulating a Problem Statement 


Early Solutioning: Market Research & Prototyping 


Regulatory Considerations: Internal & External Bodies & Common Challenges 


Legal Basics: Intellectual Property, Conflict of Interest, & Working with Office of Technology Transfer 


De-Risking Business Plans & Team Members 


Presentations & Course Wrap Up 

Where & When?

In person on CHOP Main Campus

October 4th - November 15th, Wednesdays 1:00-4:00 pm

How will this help me?

  • Value to participants: Completion of this course will increase your knowledge and confidence with academic entrepreneurship, highlighting skills, processes, and resources that you need to be successful on this path. It will also provide a chance to network with academic entrepreneurs and those providing them support both within and outside of CHOP. Certificate of completion will also be awarded.

  • Value to research supervisors or clinical program directors: Completion of this course by a member of your staff may accelerate the translation of work underway in your program.

  • Value to mentors: Completion of this course may provide your mentee with critical answers and direction that may lie outside your own expertise.

Sounds great! How do I sign up?

This course is free, but an application is required.

Applications are open! We are accepting submissions until August 23, 2023

Click here to apply!

The fine print:

Course Overview

During this course, students will learn important elements of academic entrepreneurship. They will be exposed to the general process of academic entrepreneurship in the context of pediatric medical device development and be work with tools and skills that can be broadly applied to other potential entrepreneurial uses and to general research in the future. Participants will engage in self-reflective exercises and be exposed to potential future collaborators and mentors in academic entrepreneurship, gaining insights about themselves and their own potential interest in being an academic entrepreneur. CHOP & Penn resources will be highlighted throughout the course to guide participants on their entrepreneurial journeys.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize common pitfalls, costs, and business terminology associated with pediatric healthcare innovations.

  • Describe at least one framework for evaluating perceived problems and potential solutions in pediatric healthcare. 

  • Explain a value proposition from the lens of multiple stakeholders. 

  • Define key elements of effective communication to gain support for proposed ideas at different stages of development (e.g., pitching). 

  • Identify key funding considerations and resources for financing pediatric healthcare projects, beyond traditional academic funding structures (e.g., federal research grants). 

  • List major technical and business milestones and risks related to pediatric healthcare solutions, specifically related to pediatric medical devices. 

  • Identify and evaluate skills necessary to be an academic entrepreneur (in themselves and others). 

  • Summarize resources available for future exploration of academic entrepreneurship pathways (e.g., networking/mentoring, accelerators/hubs, educational opportunities). 

Still have questions? Email us at [email protected]

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