Doctoral RNA Entrepreneur Workshops

The Entrepreneur track of the Doctoral RNA Training Program at the RNA Institute hosts workshops to provide students with exposure to resources and tools used to train entrepreneurs and to identify organizations and people that could help them with future business ventures.

2020-2021 The Basics of Commercializing Scientific Technology
Workshop Description

Although most scientists, especially student scientists, feel passionately that their science is of great value to the world, the reality is, that most scientific work has limited commercial potential.  Whether a technology should be commercialized is a business question, not a science question and the ability to approach this successfully depends on properly determining “what is the product.”  How to go about doing this will be the focus of this entrepreneurial boot-camp.

The class will meet for ~1.5-hours once a month and focus on entrepreneurial basics using real examples of RNA-based technology, some already commercialized, some early stage, to assist us along the way.  We will do a deep dive into intellectual property (IP), patents, inventorship, product discovery, customer discovery, market analysis, business model development, pitch deck development, grant funding and business investment.

Throughout a 5-lecture workshop series we will do a deep dive into the real basics that go into the process of deciding why and when it makes sense to commercialize scientific technology. We will begin by focusing on the patent process, when intellectual property should be protected, what constitutes inventorship and what gives a patent value.  We will dissect the patent process including how a patent is put together and the process of applying for a patent.  We will go over what constitutes a claim set and what makes a patent strong or weak and will go over several issued patents as examples.

Next, we will explore how one goes about determining the difference between IP and a product and the process of doing customer discovery and how that feeds into determining what an actual viable product might be.  As part of this process, we will continuously circle back to what defines a good value proposition and can provide the basis for commercializing IP.

Lastly, we will focus on how one develops a business model and procures funding for the commercialization process.  We will explore the strengths and weaknesses of many of the common business models that encompass scientific technology with an emphasis on RNA-based technologies.


Session 1 and 2            IP, Provisionals, Patents, Copyrights and Proprietary Information
Session 3 and 4            Product Discover, Customer Discovery and Business Models
Session 5                      Pulling it all together; Going from lab discovery to commercializing IP

Session Recordings

Session 1  (January 24, 2021)  View Zoom Recording (Passcode: n!a3=nA7 )