Industry Engagement

1. Institute for Biomedical Entrepreneurship (IBE) Certificate Program

The IBE Certificate Course covers all the fundamentals of commercializing a new technology – including patent and IP, harnessing SBIR and other funding resources, regulatory requirements, pitching to investors, and tailoring applications to the needs of the broader community. This is a hands-on course where students will be placed with team members from both academia and industry to conceptually develop and pitch a new product to investors. We expect the SB2 students to propose applications based on their thesis research or that of their colleagues – thus providing significant value to their research beyond the course itself.

Because communication, teamwork, and leadership skills are critical to success in industry, the IBE Course also provides extensive training and practice with presentation skills, teamwork, and other professional and business skills including drafting business plans. This provides not only knowledge of the biotech sector and experience in model business settings, but also provides unparalleled networking opportunities for our students as many of the attendees are industry scientists from a broad range of companies of different sizes and instructors are biotech leaders, CEOs, and VCs. Working on teams in interactive groups encourages connections and will help students build connections that will serve them throughout their careers.

2. Industry Internship:

The SB2 program incorporates immersive, experiential introduction and training in R&D and product development in the biotechnology sector, as well as commercial considerations for translating new technologies. This will provide trainees with the critical skills to translate new technologies from academia and/or flourish in industry positions. Notably, this will include a certification course focused on biotechnology entrepreneurship, followed by a full-time summer internship in industry- immersing students in the thriving Boston biotech community and exposing them to the rigorous industry research standards.

The goal of the summer internship between SB2 Year 1 and SB2 Year 2 is to become fully immersed in an industry lab and gain hands-on experience being an industry scientist. Students will spend the summer doing a 10-week full-time internship in a biotech company, during which they will be considered company employees, will work full time for the company, and will not be required to attend thesis lab activities so they can fully immerse themselves in the company experience.

Toward the end of the summer, the students will prepare a 15-minute presentation summarizing their projects and results. In some cases, the presentations might have to be limited in scope due to confidentiality agreements; in these cases, the students are expected to work with their supervisors at the company to develop an appropriate presentation. These presentations will be delivered at the start of the fall semester at the September Biological Design Center (BDC) Seminar. 

Participating companies include:

Ginkgo Bioworks

Moderna, Inc.

Seres Therapeutics

Platelet Biogenesis

Recommended steps in procuring an internship:

  • Step 1: Carefully consider the above list of companies, research them thoroughly, and narrow down to a 3-4 companies that are a good fit based on your research area, taking into consideration any pre-existing relationships between your PI or collaborators and the companies of interest to you.
  • Step 2: Schedule a meeting with Jessica Tytell (, Director of the Industry Engagement Office at BU to identify the best match for you
  • Step 3: With assistance from the T32 staff, schedule a “Trainee Site Visit” at the company you wish to intern at so you may learn about their development pipeline.


3. MassBio Events

The Biological Design Center has a close connection with MassBio, a local non-profit organization with strong connections in the biotech industry. MassBio will connect SB2 students to the Massachusetts life science community in a number of ways:

  • Students are welcome to attend MassBio’s “Pharma Days” to learn more about pharma R&D interests and to connect with senior executives at those companies. Companies hosted by MassBio include Lundbeck, Grunenthal, Eli Lilly, Servier, BMS, Daiichi Sankyo, Otsuka, Baxter, Gossamer Bio, and Abbvie – among others.
  • Academic Industry Roundtable Series – this seminar series brings together academia and industry to encourage the sharing of information and best practices in order to facilitate te rapid clinical translation of discoveries.
  • Bench to Boardroom Series – this seminar series (in collaboration with Brigham Research Institute) is aimed at educating scientists about industry opportunities, with a focus on entrepreneurship and tech transfer.