Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Nine Teams Begin Commercialization Boot Camp, Canvas their Biomedical Business Concepts

On Day 1 of the CIMIT/B-BIC i-Corps Healthcare Commercialization Boot Camp, nine teams of innovators from a selection of the area’s most esteemed academic and medical institutions - including Boston Children's Hospital, Boston University, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Mass General Hospital, MIT and Yale - convened at Boston University to start the process of developing a commercialization roadmap for their projects. They shared their ideas in confidence, received valuable insight and feedback from expert mentors and coaches, and learned more about the commercialization road ahead.

That road, though shaped initially by the promise of each team’s proposed innovation, will change form in response to the pressure testing performed by each team over the course of the seven-week program. With guidance from experienced commercialization experts and a large emphasis on defining target customers and soliciting their feedback, the iterative customer discovery process undertaken by teams will de-risk their concepts and improve their chances of realizing commercial success. While each team will define what success means to them, a common foundation is no doubt shared among the group, as all seek to move their ideas further along the commercialization continuum, eventually producing products that improve patient care.

To kick off this process, the teams took part in preparing their own Business Model Canvas (see video for "Business Model Canvas Explained" below) – a tool now widely used by startups and early-stage projects to record a product’s proposed value, target customers and business models. Framed in this comprehensive, concise package, the teams presented on all key aspects of their business (as they see it today) in just shy of ten minutes.

While I’m mindful that much of the work that’s gone into formulating each team’s concept started well before the Boot Camp kick-off, I can’t help but think how the day marked an especially significant point in time for these nascent projects – the time when each team committed wholeheartedly to giving their idea a chance to become something more – to exist outside the lab, and be made available to patients the world over. Regardless of their respective end results, is that not all they could ever ask for?