November 21st, 2017
Teams of students from engineering, business, and the Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health (TBMH) graduate program at Virginia Tech dove headlong into a biomedical “shark tank” at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI) on Nov. 17, working together to turn great ideas into real-world solutions and products.
In an exercise to simulate the commercialization of products in the biomedical and health sciences spaces, graduate and undergraduate students pitched ideas collected from university Intellectual Property offices.
“Each team is assigned intellectual property and builds a business pitch around it,” said Rob Gourdie, a professor at the VTCRI who oversaw the pitching event along with Mark Van Dyke, an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics (BEAM) in the College of Engineering; and Derick Maggard, executive director of the APEX Systems Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Pamplin College of Business.
“You don’t very often see students from different educational cultures coming together,” said Gourdie, who is also the Commonwealth Eminent Scholar of Regenerative Medicine. “They have different career aspirations and different perspectives from science, business, and engineering, but they’ve been thrown together and mixed into teams. We are hoping for an interdisciplinary reaction. They are liable to find themselves in teams like this in the workplace someday. We are trying to give them that experience today.”