Good ideas are slumbering in intellectual property offices at universities across the country, just waiting for enterprising people to see their potential.
But selecting a good idea and creating a business for it requires a combination of biomedical, technology, and marketing knowhow — a challenge facing Virginia Tech students from the colleges of business and engineering and the translational biology, medicine, and health graduate program.
For the third straight year, the students are teaming up to pitch commercialization ideas. This year’s biomedical “shark tank”-style competition, called the HS&T Hokie Pitch because of its focus on health sciences and technology, will be at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI) on Nov. 30.
The exercise will simulate the commercialization of products in the biomedical and health sciences spaces.
“For the most part, people believe a great discovery is made in a laboratory and somehow people run to it and say, ‘Oh yes, this needs to be turned into a fantastic product that's useful to people’s lives’,” said Rob Gourdie, a professor at the VTCRI who planned the commercialization exercise with Mark Van Dyke, an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics (BEAM) in the College of Engineering; and Derick Maggard, executive director of the APEX Systems Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Pamplin College of Business.