The Life Sciences Technology Innovation Fellowship (formerly known as the BioEntrepreneurship Initiative) at Cornell, offered by the SC Johnson College of Business, is an Empire State Development-funded entrepreneurship initiative aimed at developing the next generation of life science startup leaders. The program provides business students, graduate research students, and postdocs with an interest in health, pharma, med tech biotech, veterinary tech, molecular bioscience, and agritech from across Cornell’s colleges an opportunity to immerse themselves in practical technology-based startup creation. Participants receive the entrepreneurial training, mindset, and judgement to launch their own startup or become the next set of leaders working in the growing life science technology economy.  

The program is built around a workshop course, “Life Science Entrepreneurship in Practice,” that uses participant’s research skills and dissertation topics as the source material for the development of business hypotheses. Cross-disciplinary teams that include the researcher will develop “entrepreneurial judgement” as they decide how to best test their hypotheses and thereby de-risk their potential business models. Experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and faculty provide constructive feedback participant learnings and priorities on a regular basis. This course is exclusively offered to students in this program; academic credit is awarded as NBA 5175 to participants who qualify. 

Participants are asked to compliment the workshop with other relevant coursework from across Cornell and its tri-institutional partners. This program generally takes 2-3 semesters to complete. “Life Science Entrepreneurship in Practice” runs from September – April with six workshop sessions held on weekends, alternating between Ithaca and NYC. Students may also receive a certificate from the SC Johnson Graduate School of Management. 

Additional information about program structure can be reviewed here.

Who can apply?

The Life Sciences Technology Innovation Fellowship admits PhD candidates and postdoctoral fellows, as well as business students in equal numbers, in order for all participants to form project teams upon enrollment in the program course “Life Science Entrepreneurship in Practice.” 

PhD candidates in the program are restricted to those in the 3rd year and higher conducting graduate level research on a topic related to health, pharma, med tech biotech, veterinary tech, molecular bioscience, and agritech or similar. Postdoctoral fellows in the same research areas are also welcome to participate. Research participants can be from across Cornell’s Ithaca and NYC campuses, as well as from Cornell’s Tri-Institutional partners (Memorial Sloan Kettering and The Rockefeller University).  

MBA students are restricted to residential (Ithaca) MBAs in the final year of their degree, Johnson Cornell Tech MBAs, and EMBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership MBAs in the final year of their degree. MHA students are also welcome to apply



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