Benchtop to Bedside (B2B)


A course for scientists, physicians, and graduate students who want move laboratory discoveries to the marketplace for the benefit of patients and others. The course runs 12 weeks starting in January every year.

Course Summary

“Benchtop to Bedside,” known as B2B, is designed to give research scientists, clinicians, and other interested parties the basic information necessary to assess the market potential of basic science research discoveries in healthcare.

The course will help scientists understand the focused development of additional information, including proof of concept and validation experiments that increase the value of the technology and reduce the investment risk. The course will also give scientists insight into how intellectual property creates a barrier to entry for the competition, and the fundamentals of investment from the private sector to help finance the climb over regulatory hurdles and meet developmental milestones.

The course consists of a series of seminars to identify the steps necessary to move a scientific or clinical discovery from the laboratory to the patient.

Topics covered include how to:

  • Recognize the commercial potential of a scientific discovery
  • Protect the intellectual property
  • Disclose the invention to the university
  • Initiate the university licensing process
  • Talk with customers and potential users of the innovation
  • Conduct validating experiments
  • Navigate the regulatory and reimbursement pathways
  • Clarify the scientist’s expected role and responsibilities as the process moves forward through clinical development


Guest speakers

The course has hosted many seasoned speakers and experts. Past speakers include:

Barbara Barnes, MD; Associate Vice Chancellor, Continuing Education and Industry Relationships for the University of Pittsburgh and Vice President, Sponsored Programs, Research Support, and CME for UPMC

Eric Beckman, PhD, George Bevier Professor of Engineering, co-Director of the Mascaro Sustainability Initiative, co-founder and Senior Scientist at Cohera Medical

Dottie Clower, PhD, Vice President of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer at Cohera Medical

Chad Coberly, JD, MBA; Vice President of Clinical, Regulatory and Legal Affairs at Cohera Medical

Marc S. Malandro, PhD, CLP, RTTP, Founding Director, Innovation Institute

Bob Marshall, Director of Growth for Regulatory & Quality Solutions

Larry Miller, MBA, Executive-in-Residence at Innovation Works

David Smith, JD, lawyer with Pepper Hamilton


Idea to Impact (I2I)

Course Summary

This practical, 4-week course guides academic researchers step by step through the experience of developing an entrepreneurial idea. It is designed for early-career scientists (e.g., MDs, PhDs, fellows, medical students, faculty, post docs) who are new to entrepreneurship and commercialization, but interested in translating research into practical applications. Each week, participants will focus on one discrete stage of the translational process as they identify a problem, analyze stakeholders, define a solution, describe its benefits, research the competition, articulate differentiators, and create an action plan. The course will be taught in a hybrid format, with self-paced, online modules to provide participants with key concepts and information, and class meetings where they present specific deliverables, receive feedback from colleagues, and engage in focused discussion. On the last day of class, participants will present their fully formed idea to an invited audience. The expected effort is twelve hours per week: four hours of video and reading material, four hours of prep for class presentations, and four hours of class time.

Credits: 1

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the steps of the translational process for academic inventors.
  • Clearly identify a problem that lends itself to translation, and explain its significance. 
  • Identify all the relevant stakeholders and their relationship to the identified problem.
  • Clearly articulate the proposed solution and how it addresses the problem.
  • Describe the specific benefits of the solution to all relevant stakeholders.
  • Research the competition, direct and indirect, and describe what each competitor offers.
  • Explain the differentiation of the solution in relation to the competition.
  • Outline an action plan to take the solution forward.


ENGR 1062: Startup Fundamentals for Engineers Syllabus

Search Innovations

Course Description

Startup Fundamentals for Engineers” introduces the engineering student to the core business concepts behind innovation and entrepreneurship. The class is highly interactive, and students will be required to participate in groups and individually. Grading is heavily weighted around participation in the group project which will be ongoing throughout the semester. Guest speakers, who are experts in their fields, will supplement the core teaching by the instructor. Topics covered include: ideation, problem/solution, market opportunity, competitive analysis, customer discovery, pitching, funding, finance, legal issues, team building, and innovation within existing companies.

This course is offered as part of the Certificate in Innovation, Product Design and Entrepreneurship.

Course Overview

This course will help students develop an understanding of the following:

  • The importance of innovation and entrepreneurship to our society and to their careers.
  • The process associated with innovation and entrepreneurship from originating an idea to bringing it to market as a new product or service.
  • How to describe a marketplace problem and viable solution in a brief, compelling way, and explain its market potential.
  • The key elements of building a business as opposed to a product.
  • How the proposed solution will address the needs of and benefits to stakeholders and customers.
  • How the proposed solution could generate revenue and create value.
  • How to identify potential sources of funding for the project.
  • How to pitch the solution appropriately for different audiences.
  • The lexicon of innovation and entrepreneurship

INFSCI 1091: Innovation and Entrepreneur in Tech

Whether you want to start your own company or become an innovation leader within a multinational corporation, this course will introduce you to the core concepts behind innovation and entrepreneurship in the high tech arena.

Course Overview

  • Explore the process from developing an idea to finding funding, to bringing it to market whether in an existing company or a startup.
  • Learn how to identify a marketplace problem, and then to design and promote a solution that will solve the challenge and potentially generate revenue.
  • Investigate market opportunity, competitive analysis, customer discovery, pitching, legal issues, and more.