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Translational Medicine Alliance uncovers opportunities for life science entrepreneurs

on May 09, 2013

Because significant funding is needed to develop new, innovative life science and digital health products and tools, fewer ideas are making the leap from research institutions to product development teams. This clash between the short-term, earnings-driven needs of the medical marketplace and the risky, lengthy, and capital-intensive process of bringing medical ideas to fruition is a major challenge facing modern medicine.

Translational medicine is described as the techniques required to move past this obstacle. In 2007, the Translational Medicine Alliance formed to address the national and international leadership vacuum in translational medicine and to bring together thought leaders to develop a strategy to support promising technologies.

The following insights for life science entrepreneurs were discussed at the alliance’s 2007 forum:

  • The tech transfer group at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has monthly seminars on commercialization. A recent initiative supported by faculty researchers, entrepreneurs, and deans is to get patent acquisition into tenure considerations. This is market-driven effort because today, new hotshot scientists who interview ask what resources the university has to help them commercialize their discoveries.
  • Georgia Tech has NSF Training Grants for students to become entrepreneurs called the Tiger Program. It combines science grad students and law and business students to learn about building a business. The Kauffman Foundation is funding Georgia Tech and Emory faculty to share the lessons from this program with faculty from other campuses and is currently in the second year of this dissemination process.
  • A regional example of entrepreneurship education is offered at the Center for Commercialization and Entrepreneurial Training (CCET) at Technology Ventures Corporation (TVC). TVC helps technology entrepreneurs in California, New Mexico and Nevada write compelling business plans and connect with the right networks. CCET has monthly seminars to teach entrepreneurs how to run technology-based businesses.

More information on the alliance and its events is available here.

Weekly Wisdom from Kauffman is a regular feature on eMed highlighting insightful research from the Kauffman Foundation. Do you have a favorite Kauffman research insight that could help life science entrepreneurs? Send it to

Category:  Growth  Creation  Tags:  wisdom, translational medicine

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