Editorial: The Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp: From Lectern to Printing Press




This issue of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology focuses on the proceedings of the Seventh Annual Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp held in conjunction with the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) annual conference in Washington, DC in June, 2011.

The Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp was launched for the 2005 BIO Industry Organization’s Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. The Boot Camp was originally designed as a program for CSOs but is now expanded in scope and design to address a broad range of issues for entrepreneurs more generally. The Boot Camp was created in response to the growing need in the managerial, scientific and academic community to learn about the necessary elements and skills to transform technology and invention into a viable company. The insight and energy required for entrepreneurial success can be developed by anyone motivated to do the following: think strategically, select projects and plan for expeditious and cost-effective management, understand the requirements of all the involved stakeholders, and oversee the essential components of the commercialization process.

The Boot Camp travels from year to year to each of the BIO Annual Meeting venues – a veritable “moveable feast.†Previously, the Boot Camp was offered at BIO’s annual meetings in Chicago in 2006 and 2010, Boston in 2007, San Diego in 2008, and Atlanta in 2009. The creation of the syllabus, the recruitment of faculty, and the faculty’s extensive preparation suggested that wherever possible there should be core faculty, i.e., a portion of the faculty from the Philadelphia Boot Camp who would volunteer from year to year. This approach has the added benefit of improving the presentations and the material from year to year as the faculty themselves identify what works, as well as how to teach together. Each year, additional faculty members are recruited from the host region.

Over the seven years of the boot camp, over 500 entrepreneurs have attended and taken away a broad spectrum of insights from the faculty.

The Boot Camp was founded and co-chaired by Professors Arthur Boni of the Tepper School of Carnegie Mellon University, Stephen Sammut of the Wharton School and Burrill & Company, and Jeffrey Libson, Partner, Pepper Hamilton LLP  and Lecturer at  Wharton School Health Care Management Program. The law firm, PepperHamilton has also served as the Boot Camp’s sponsor since its inception.


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