SPARK members and SPARK associates from all across Europe attended the 8th Annual Training Course in Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship from August 3 to August 14, 2020. SPARK Finland organized together with European SPARKs and University Technology Sydney in Australia this year's intensive 2 week-training course in Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship (BIE).
Due to the evolving nature of the coronavirus situation, the 8th BIE training course was converted to an online format. The course addressed students and professionals from academia interested in developing key skills for translating an idea into a solution in the biomedical space.
A variety of topics were covered, including design thinking, product development, commercialization and financial-related aspects of founding a company. All courses were taught through a mix of interactive lectures, workshops and presentations led by leading academics and industry professionals among them the founders of SPARK Stanford Daria Mochly-Rosen and Kevin Grimes.
During the 2-week training course, small virtual breakout rooms allowed the collaboration in small teams. Within their teams, the participants developed solutions to problems with a medical need and simulated the process of founding and running a company. Mentors joined the teams challenging their ideas to help the team judge whether the identified solution to a problem is a truly great idea.
At the end of the 2 week-training course, the teams presented their results to a panel of jury experts. Two special prizes were awarded: the audience prize, which went to a SPARKee from Berlin and his team, and the jury prize, which went to another team.
Overall, this year's annual BIE training course received again overwhelmingly positive feedback from the participants. Here is what the participants are saying…
“I was going into this course with the idea to found my own company at the end of this year and expecting to learn one or the other thing about the business aspect, which I think I am lacking since I studied only biochemistry. I am leaving this course with more than one business idea and the strong feeling that I learnt in this two weeks what would have taken me at least half a year learning by myself.”
"Turning ideas into application requires a different way of thinking very early on, for which scientists are not necessarily used to and the BIE course did a great job planting the seeds of entrepreneurship into the participant's mind."
“Particularly, I enjoyed the very active, friendly, and productive online team work in this short time. Such an experience is rare and is very beneficial. The talks and discussions were motivational, exciting, and open-minded. I would say that the course was great success and I recommend that it should continue for the next years.”
“I found the session on patent and IP very informative. I also liked the fact that the lecturers were well prepared for the course. The mentors were really helpful in every step. I really appreciated that.”
“The course was an amazing experience and a very different one from what I always had in academia.”
“The BIE course was an extraordinary and challenging experience opening new perspectives on how we can realize ideas by joining the brain power of people from different backgrounds.”