This course is a practicum, offering an opportunity to apply collective team work of a student/mentor alliance to building a launch pad for a technology-based venture. This course is open to Ross School MBA and BBA students as well as all UM graduate students. Student teams will work with mentors and principal investigators (PI) from UM faculty in the Medical School, College of Engineering and other divisions to build a business and marketing plan for a new technology or invention. Projects are based upon disclosures made to UM Office of Technology Transfer, other universities and industrial companies.
The course was offered for its first time in the Fall 2004 and included thirteen technology projects in Biotechnology, Life Science and other areas. By the end of the class projects, three start-up companies that were part of the course had announced positive advancements in securing initial venture capital funding and one announced a new grant award forthcoming. The course has gained popularity and a solid reputation among students interested in entrepreneurial finance management and faculty members looking to commercialize more developments and technology ideas.
Each team's objective is to bring its assigned project to a level at which venture capital or angel investors will be interested in the "deal". Projects selected by the judging panel at the end of the course will be eligible to participate in the annual Michigan Growth Capital Symposium in June 2006 (for event details go to www.michigangcs.com). As a new feature of the course in Fall 2005, the winning project team will present their project at the Next Generation Entrepreneur Forum in Monaco (www.ngefmonaco.org) organized by the International University of Monaco and the London School of Economics in the Spring of 2006.
The class meets once weekly, with guest speakers drawn from the scientific, legal, financial, venture capital and entrepreneurial communities. Student teams meet with mentors by group arrangement. A textbook and additional reading materials are used for the course, along with sample reports from last year's class.