Steve Blank's UCSF Class Tests "Evidence-Based Entrepreneurship"

October 15, 2013

Conventional wisdom says the techniques that help today’s technology startups get to market fast—or, just as likely, fail fast, freeing the founders to start over—don’t work in the life sciences. Rapid product iteration based on agile software development methods; continuous business-model adjustments using customer feedback; cloud outsourcing to increase capital efficiency—all these strategies are seen as somehow inapplicable to the life sciences and healthcare.

Which means companies developing drugs, medical devices, or diagnostic tools are stuck with a slow, expensive, hyper-regulated, insanely high-risk development process. And from this perspective, it’s no wonder that venture investors are getting out of the business, and that first-round funding for life sciences startups is increasingly scarce.

...Blank is directing the course, with teaching and mentoring help from veteran entrepreneurs and venture capitalists such as Abhas Gupta of Mohr Davidow Ventures; Allan May of Emergent Medical Partners; Karl Handelsman of Codon Capital; Jim Hornthal of Hornthal Investment Partners; Todd Morrill of Venture Management Group; Stephanie Marrus, director of the UCSF Entrepeneurship Center; and Jerome Lester, founding director of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley.

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