Introducing the inaugural BioEntrepreneurship MBA cohort

Cornell University’s BioEntrepreneurship Initiative recently introduced the first cohort of MBA students to take part in the innovative program. Designed to develop C-suite startup leaders in the life sciences, the program connects doctoral researchers across Cornell’s life sciences programs with graduate business students at the Johnson Graduate School of Management.  The program is funded through Empire State Development and administered by Johnson and Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement.

“This program represents a novel programmatic model to develop the leaders of the next few generations of life science startups,” said program director Gregory Ray PhD ‘14. “The presence of talent that can drop in and lead again and again in startups has driven the success of places like Boston and the Bay Area; we are developing these leaders for the New York State ecosystem.”

Half of the participants come from Johnson and the other half from a life sciences doctoral program. Over three semesters, participants receive the tools, training, and connections they need to launch their own life science startups through a certificate program. The fellows in the cohort will take specialized courses that earn them 12 credits and work in teams to attend workshops, develop a business plan, and deliver a final presentation to potential investors, partners, and advisory board.

“I am excited to join the BioEntrepreneurship Initiative to collaborate with a diverse set of individuals including researchers and scientists on go-to-market strategies for pre-clinical biotechnologies,” said participant Melissa Kowalski, MBA ’23. “This team-based experience will give me exposure to customer discovery, market-entry, and the commercialization of early-stage assets.”

Meet the members of the 2022 BioEntrepreneurship MBA Cohort:

  • Alphonse Harris, MBA ’23
  • Ben Zarrour, Executive MBA/M.S., Healthcare Leadership ’23
  • Christian Peitz, MBA ’23
  • Emma Conover, MBA ’23
  • Ikenna Nwafor, MBA ’23
  • Jacquelyn Sze Dee Yuen, MBA ’23
  • Kerri Winston PhD, Executive MBA/M.S., Healthcare Leadership ’23
  • Lauren Kaminsky, MBA ’23
  • Masahiro Yoshida, MBA ’23
  • Melissa Kowalski, MBA ’23
  • Mike Misch, Executive MBA/M.S., Healthcare Leadership ’23
  • Mitchell Kapoor, Executive MBA/M.S., Healthcare Leadership ’23
  • Oluwatobi Idowu, Executive MBA/M.S., Healthcare Leadership ’23
  • Pascale M. White, Executive MBA/M.S., Healthcare Leadership ’23
  • Rhena Singh, MBA ’23

“The business students that are participating in the BioEntrepreneurship Initiative will bring a wealth of experience, both professionally and academically to their teams,” said Ray. “Their perspective will help teams to identify novel and compelling business models to bring emerging life science technologies to specific customers in the complex and overlapping ecosystems of the medical, health, veterinary, agricultural, food, and pharma, and veterinary industries.”

Follow along with the progress of the BioEntrepreneurship Initiative cohort on the Entrepreneurship at Cornell website.

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