BME Pilots Entrepreneurship Course

Last year, the Department of Biomedical Engineering piloted a course to introduce graduate students, mostly from STEM backgrounds, to basic business and managerial principles.

The course entailed an intense seven-week immersion led by Robert R. Karpman, M.D., M.B.A. an adjunct in the department as well as Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Cornell for biomedical technology and health care. With the help of the Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) program and Entrepreneurship at Cornell, Karpman taught four sessions of BME 5950: Business as a Second Language: From Molecules to Moola! 53 students, mostly from STEM backgrounds, participated in one of the 4 sessions. Business as a Second Language covered a wide variety of topics including: financial statements, managerial accounting, time value of money, marketing, budget preparation, developing a business plan, micro and macroeconomics, leadership, negotiation, project development and self-management. The final examination consisted of group “pitches” of a virtual technology to develop a start-up business.

Student testimonials attested to the effectiveness of the course as a primer for future studies and work in industry. One student noted that the course offered “a broad spectrum overview of key topics in business,” which helped guide and inspire further research into “specific topics of interest.”  Another reported that the “knowledge gained in this class is sure to set [students] apart during the job search process” and further career goals. Based on positive feedback, this course will be offered in Fall 2015 as a 3-credit leadership course called BME 5960: Business and Management Fundamentals for Biomedical Engineers.