Business of Science Boot Camp for Science Trainees

Students in a lecture hall

Welcome to the Business of Science Boot Camp for Science Trainees

Registration for the Business of Science Boot Camp is currently closed. Registration for the next Boot Camp will be available in Spring 2025.

In Person Boot Camp: June 2 to 6, 2024

Virtual Orientation (required): May 22, 3 to 5 PM
In Person Sessions: June 2 – June 6

College of Health and Human Development and the Smeal College of Business
Directors: Donna Korzick, Director of Graduate Training Initiatives; Professor of Physiology and Kinesiology
Jeanette Miller, Director, Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship major, Smeal College of Business
Location: Eric J Barron Innovation Hub Building, 123 S. Burrowes St., State College, PA

Have a discovery mindset? Considering emerging career options in the life sciences? The “Business of Science” boot camp is a career opportunity for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the life sciences to obtain value-added training in Entrepreneurship and Regulatory Affairs. Our unique, one-week boot camp experience will expand your business acumen and give you an edge for emerging careers in science and biotechnology. The program is modeled after Executive Programs at Penn State, and principles of The Business Model Canvas, The Value Proposition Canvas, and Human Centered Design (HCD) are employed. The HCD approach to problem-solving is iterative, measurable and results-driven, and key to developing a "discovery mindset."

We have assembled experts from both within and beyond Penn State, and look forward to an exciting week of didactic and hands on learning. See an idea come to life and learn the basics of marketing, business planning, and intellectual property. Learn from local faculty entrepreneurs, and get ready to make your own pitch before our panel of experts and judges. We will kick off the boot camp with a virtual orientation, followed by in-person training. We will follow all COVID-19 guidelines and prioritize safety.

Please note that there is no fee for attending this boot camp, so your commitment to the entire week is required; otherwise, we will need to charge your home department. Registration is required, and limited to 25 participants on a first-come basis. Acceptance is conditional until approved by your advisor. Priority will be given to second-year graduate students and beyond. Please contact Donna Korzick or Jean Pierce with any immediate questions. There will be a required virtual orientation on May 22, from 3-5 PM.

We will provide lunch each day. In-person sessions will kick off on Sunday, June 2 (1 to 4 pm). Sessions will continue on June 3 – 6 from ~8:30 to 4:30 pm each day, with the exception of Thursday June 6, when we will conclude the boot camp at about 1 pm. Student teams will develop an idea throughout the week, and the best idea pitch will be rewarded with fun prizes. Classes will consist of lectures, case studies, and breakout sessions, and supplemented with panel discussions and video presentations by entrepreneurs so students get to see ideas in action. The Business of Science Boot Camp is part of the NIGMS Predoctoral Training Program “Physiological Adaptations to Stress."

Faculty who will be involved include:

  • Jeanette Miller, Director, Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIENT) major, Smeal College of Business; Associate Director, Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Assistant Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship
  • Derek Gross, Director, Penn State Office of Entrepreneurship & Commercialization
  • Ted Liberti, CBO and co-Founder, Biomagnetic Solutions
  • Ann Hoag, Immediate past Director, Intercollege Minor in Entrepreneurship & Innovation (ENTI)
  • Brit Peterson and Stephanie Wilusz, Penn State Law Staff Attorneys, Happy Valley LaunchBox Entrepreneur Assistance Clinic
  • Nicole Cingolani, Media Commons Penn State
  • Michael Zaydon, Crystal Park Group
  • Jonathon D’Silva, Director, Intellectual Property Clinic, Penn State Law
  • Jack Vanden Heuvel, Founder, Indigo Biosciences and Penn State Professor
  • Steve Carpenter and Elizabeth Hay, Penn State Smeal College of Business
  • Donna Korzick, Director of Graduate Training Initiatives, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences; Professor of Physiology and Kinesiology
Wednesday, May 22 Sunday, June 2
Innovation Hub Rm 603
Monday, June 3
Innovation Hub Rm 603
Tuesday, June 4
Innovation Hub Rm 113
Wednesday, June 5
Innovation Hub Rm 113
Thursday, June 6
Innovation Hub Rm 113
8:30 – 9:30am
ICOR Partnerships – Opportunities for Innovation
Derek Gross, Office of Entrepreneurship & Commercialization

9:45 –11:45am
Entrepreneurship – Where to Start?
Ted Liberti, Biomagnetic Solutions
8:30 – 10:15am Legal Structures for Running a Business
Stephanie Wilusz &
Brit Peterson,
Penn State Entrepreneur Assistance Clinic

10:30 –12:00pm Intellectual Property and Regulations Jonathan D’Silva, Director, Intellectual Property Clinic,
Penn State Law
8:30 – 10:15am Effective Pitch Development
Jeanette Miller

10:30am - 12:00pm
PSU Faculty Entrepreneur
Jack Vanden Heuvel, Indigo Biosciences
8:30 – 9:30am
Group Final Pitch Practice

10:00am – 12:00pm Presentations of Business Ideas to Judges (8 min presentation/8 min discussion)
Anne Hoag,
Steve Carpenter, Elizabeth Hay
Virtual Orientation
Donna Korzick and Jeanette Miller
  • Outline of Boot Camp
  • Introduction of students & Lead faculty
  • Areas of Interest/Research
  • Forming teams
1:00 – 4:00pm Entrepreneurial Ideation
Jeanette Miller
  • Identification of gaps, niches and pain points
  • Defining customer needs
  • Value propositions
Business Model Development
  • Business Model
  • Canvas
  • Competitor Analysis
12:30 – 1:30pm
Diffusion of Innovation: Crossing the Chasm
Ann Hoag, Intercollege Minor in Entrepreneurship & Innovation

1:45 – 3:00pm
AI for Entrepreneurship
PSU Media Commons

3:15 – 4:30pm
Selling your product &
Customer Discovery: Getting in Front of Customers
Jeanette Miller
12:30 – 4:30pm Financial statements, Valuation, Pricing Strategies, Revenue Models Michael Zaydon, Crystal Park Group12:30 – 2:00pm Financing your New Venture:
External Funding
Steve Carpenter

2:00-4:30pm Group Breakout Time