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Minor in BioMed Entrepreneurship

Program details

What will you learn in this program ?

  • Learn from the mindset of industry experts and successful entrepreneurs how they built their businesses.
  • Gain insights and skills in design thinking, innovation, applied R&D, marketing, regulations, intellectual property, budgeting, corporate management, funding, negotiation, team building, leadership...
  • Develop and present a BioMed start-up project from scratch.

What can you do with it later ?

  • This Minor provides a solid foundation for working in the BioTech, MedTech or pharmaceutical industry.
  • It will shift your mindset towards translational science and business-oriented questions.
  • You will develop a set of hard skills (marketing, finance, legal...) and soft skills (communication, networking, negotiation, leadership, team building...) that will be valuable for the rest of your life.

Modules Overview

The Minor in BioMed Entrepreneurship has a scope of 30 ECTS credits and can only be completed within the framework of a Master's degree at the Faculty of Science or the Faculty of Medicine at UZH. The curriculum of the Minor consists of five compulsory modules: a Monday lecture series and three block courses (fall semester), a 10-weeks internship in a start-up (adaptable to the student schedule).

Please find more information in the MinorBEP Guidelines 2023 (PDF, 327 KB) .
All courses are listed in the course catalogue.

Module BEP 101: Pitch training & lectures

Learning objectives: The student will be able to:

  • distinguish between idea, innovation, and marketable product.
  • identify needs and opportunities with innovation potential.
  • compare different entrepreneurial approaches in BioTech, MedTech and Pharma.
  • understand her/his audience, analyze their requirements, and adapt his/her presentation to the audience for most effective outcome.

One of the most important tasks and skills for entrepreneurs is to convince an audience of a business idea in a short but comprehensive pitch. This module teaches and trains with students all the tools they need to make the most effective and efficient pitch. Students learn how to identify a potentially successful idea and develop various entrepreneurial approaches to turn an idea into a product or service. In addition, students identify different target audiences for a business and research stakeholder needs. This knowledge is applied to projects and practiced in hands-on exercises that are recorded and discussed.

Module BEP 102: BioMed Entrepreneurship - from team to company

Learning objectives: The student will be able to:

  • know about the importance of teamwork in entrepreneurship and reflect on his/her own behavior.
  • describe the basic requirements in finance and legal for a venture and can apply those in a case study.
  • use a project management process for different requirements.
  • apply the gained knowledge in a milestone planning for a concrete market introduction.

This module provides an introduction to entrepreneurship in the BioTech, MedTech and Pharmaceutical industries. Students learn how to translate an idea or scientific discovery into a commercially viable product or service. This includes market insights, design thinking, project management, and finance and legal basics. The knowledge is imparted via e-learning tools and lectures held by guest lecturers from a venture (start-ups, specialists from various fields), amongst others.

Module BEP 103: Corporate management of BioMed ventures

Learning objectives: The student will be able to:

  • describe and differentiate theories of finance models for a venture.
  • analyze balance sheets, business reports, and earning statements.
  • know the difference of vision, mission and stategy and can define them for her/his project.
  • understand conflicts and their different stages that can arise in a company and can develop solution approaches.
  • illustrate the requirements of leadership.

This module focuses on the financial aspects of a company, marketing, clinical trials The knowledge is imparted via e-learning tools and lectures held by guest lecturers from a venture (start-ups, specialists from various fields), amongst others. In addition, students will enhance their teamwork skills by addressing conflict management and leadership requirements.

Learning objectives: The student will be able to:

  • acquire relevant knowledge of intellectual property, e.g. patents, brands and trademarks.
  • select and explain topics related to life science regulations, e.g., Swissmedic or Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements.
  • understand business rights and responsibilities, as well as labor and employment law.
  • be aware of the importance of data protection and data security and act accordingly.
  • classify and evaluate international papers and practical examples.

This module focuses on the legal requirements for a BioTech and MedTech company and covers topics such as intellectual property (IP), regulatory affairs, and the various legal aspects of a business. Business law and labor and employment law are taught and the importance of proper data handling is discussed. Soft skills are strengthened through negotiation training. The knowledge is imparted via e-learning tools and lectures held by guest lecturers from a venture (start-ups, specialists from various fields), amongst others.

Module BEP 105: Internship in a BioTech, MedTech or Pharma company

Learning objectives: The student will be able to:

  • apply the acquired knowledge to projects in a selected BioTech or MedTech company and explain product development, production and quality control
  • discuss the organizational structure of the company and develop potential improvements
  • explain the company’s value chain
  • reflect on his/her tasks and connect theoretical knowledge to practical work, thereby improving hard and soft skills.

The student will carry out a 10-week full-time internship project in a BioTech, MedTech or pharmaceutical company, where he/she can analyze a real case and apply his/her acquired knowledge. This opportunity offers the student the first direct contact with the business world and could open doors for future potential employment opportunities. Achievements are reflected upon and documented in a weekly statement. In a final report, the student discusses the project and the findings are presented to the committee. The internship is managed by a supervisor from the company and a member of the organizing institute (IREM).