Rice Business Certificate in Commercialization of Medical Innovation


Many physicians, clinical scientists and medical students have a deep interest in learning the ins and outs of medical innovation commercialization. The goal of the Rice Business certificate program in Commercialization of Medical Innovation is to create a vehicle for participants from medical institutions to obtain a certificate in Commercialization of Medical Innovations drawing on the faculty and course strength at Rice Business and the Rice program in Global Medical Innovation.

The curriculum for the certificate is a combination of live lecture courses and an experiential capstone course. Participants are also eligible to participate in the GMI Lecture series. For 2019, we are also developing a set of asynchronous, online Preparatory and Supplemental Training segments. These segments, which are an optional addition for participants, offer an overview of basic management tools and skills (finance, accounting, marketing, operations, strategy, negotiations and communications).

Certificate Courses

Enrollees participate in four courses over a nine month period:

Life Sciences Entrepreneurship (Overview and Introduction)

This course provides an overview of entrepreneurship and innovation in the life sciences. The roles of physicians, scientists, engineers and MBAs in biotech, medical device, and other life science companies are described and characterized, and the major trends and innovations driving the creation of new products in large, established companies and venture-capital-backed startup companies are discussed. The course describes the venture capital process, the formation and capitalization of high-tech companies, sources of technologies, the role of tech transfer at universities and medical schools, startup operational issues, the role of VCs and board members, execution time frames, the liquidity process, IPOs and mergers, and payout prospects for founders and investors. Discussions are framed around guest entrepreneur lectures from the biotech, medical device and healthcare informatics space.

Commercialization in Pharma and Biotechnology

Pharmaceuticals continue to grow as a share of healthcare spending with sales projected to reach nearly $1.2 trillion globally by 2016. This course will cover key aspects of drug development including sharing of real-world challenges and decisions during the development process. The course is focused on therapeutics with a shorter discussion on medical devices, diagnostics and digital health.

Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship (BioDesign)

This course is designed for healthcare entrepreneurs who want to build innovative medical technologies. Students work in interdisciplinary teams comprised of engineering students, business students, and clinicians. During the course, students will learn how to identify customers, key stakeholders, and the market opportunity for a clinical need; apply design thinking, including low-fidelity prototyping, to quickly test and iterate on a concept; assess regulatory, reimbursement, and clinical trial requirements; identify key assumptions and develop a business model; create a financial model based on business model assumptions; determine capital requirements and funding sources for their venture; understand and evaluate term sheets; create a pitch presentation for investors.

Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Implementation Lab

In this follow-on experiential Lab course, students work on refining and completing the plan for the venture they created in Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Teams receive guidance and Mentoring from faculty and mentors to develop the next steps of their business. The Lab takes place in the Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a purpose built state-of-the-art incubator and co-working space on the Rice campus.


Each participating student will receive a Certificate in Commercialization of Medical Innovation issued by Rice Business.


The cost for full certificate program including four courses (five term-equivalents) and access to the GMI Lecture Series is $12,000 per participant. Discounts are available for bulk institutional purchases.