About the Module

The Summer Intensive is a foundation course in innovation, entrepreneurship, and commercialization for PhD candidates and post-doctoral fellows who are interested in exploring careers as innovation-focused faculty, technology entrepreneurs, strategy consultants, or executives in technology-based firms.The course focuses on the critical issues facing the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of a twenty-first century corporation, including the assessment of technological capabilities and opportunities, formulating a technical direction and strategy, designing and developing a product portfolio, and developing a business plan for presentation to investors.

The Intensive will combine the studio classroom model with a collaborative learning approach. The centerpiece of the module is a team technology strategy project. The technology strategy is a vehicle for integrating and demonstrating your understanding of the concepts developed in the course, and for applying these concepts to a real-world technology. At the beginning of the module, you'll choose a technology of interest to you and form a team to build your technology strategy in stages over the summer, as each topic is introduced. The module will conclude with a mock investment pitch presentation.


Module participants will receive a Certificate of Completion at the end.


Module dates and times: Mondays and Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., from June 15 to August 7, with a one-week break the week of July 4

Instructor: Dr. John Bers, Associate Professor of the Practice in Engineering Management

Module structure: Flipped classroom model: online lectures and course material are reviewed out-of-class so teams can use class time to discuss how course concepts apply to their innovation.

Cost: No cost to PhD students and postdoctoral fellows in the biomedical sciences or chemistry. This course was developed in 2015 with a pilot grant from Burroughs Wellcome Fund  (PI: Dr. Kathy Gould, Associate Dean for Biomedical Sciences and Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology).

Eligibility: Open to biomedical sciences and chemistry postdoctoral fellows and PhD students who have passed their qualifying exams before June 2017.

Questions: Please contact Angela Zito (angela.zito@vanderbilt.edu), Program Manager, BRET Office of Career Development