Entrepreneurship Course

In addition to his clinical work, research and role as ACABI director,  Marvin Slepian also teaches the course Innovation, Translation and Entrepreneurship (ENTR 481A/581A) as part of the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management, cross-listed with the College of Medicine.

Course Rationale

Medical devices play a vital role in advanced diagnostics, therapeutics and patient monitoring but the continued development of novel devices and therapeutics is increasingly jeopardized as the U.S. struggles for healthcare reform.

It's our belief and the rationale for this course that continued innovation will improve diagnosis and therapy, reducing hospitalizations and repeated medical visits and improving the ratio of outcomes to costs. 

It's also through innovation and device development that new ventures will bolster the U.S. economy. In fact, the medical sector has led job growth in recent years. Together, these facts make now the ideal time to embrace innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in medicine.

Course Goals

ENTR 481/581 is a multidisciplinary course aimed at students in medicine, engineering, business and law[1]  — all the human elements needed in the medical device/biotech/pharma development process. Goals of the course include:

  • Provide practical knowledge related to innovation and corporate start-ups;
  • Identify areas of medicine today most in need of improvement[2] ;  
  • Fill knowledge gaps for students from varying educational backgrounds;
  • Provide a platform for successful networking among students;
  • Create the spark and critical mass needed for true innovation and potential ventures;
  • Add an innovation and entrepreneurship component that has largely been lacking in medical school.

These goals will be met by offering information not available in any textbook but instead drawn from the instructor's quarter-century of experience navigating the intersection of health care and innovation, maintaining an academic life as well as a parallel career in medical entrepreneurship, such as how to:

  • Identify areas of need and opportunities with likely success; 
  • Raise capital in trying times to drive this process; 
  • Manage intellectual property;
  • Navigate the complex FDA regulatory world;
  • Obtain reimbursement from CMS.

Course Listings & Syllabus

Note that this course is also cross-listed in the UA College of Medicine[3]