Field Course: Lab to Market - Harvard Business School MBA Program

Field Course: Lab to Market

Course Number 6107

Professor Karim Lakhani
Senior Fellow Peter Barrett
Visiting Lecturer Noubar B. Afeyan
Fall; Q1Q2; 3 credits
13 3-hour sessions

Harvard University has a significant footprint in conducting foundational and applied research in science and technology. Thousands of investigators, across the various universities and hospitals in greater Boston, secure billions of dollars in federal, state, non-profit and private funding to advance the frontiers of knowledge.  The research efforts at these labs also yield nascent and promising concepts and projects that can be brought to market to solve important, unmet needs across the spectrum of individual consumers and companies.

The Lab to Market field course is designed to outline the path from embryonic discoveries made in R&D labs to their development for commercial use and onwards to market launch. The course is designed for students who either want to start businesses that have science and technology intellectual property at their core or anticipate leading market launch teams in incumbent organizations.

The course covers such issues as creating value from science and technology innovations, business model design, value capture strategies, portfolio strategy, regulation, financing, intellectual property and organizational models of science- and technology-based ventures.

By design, approximately 50% of the students in the class will be cross-registrants from Harvard Medical School, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard Law School, and the MIT Sloan Fellows Program. This highly diverse student body provides an unusual opportunity for cross-disciplinary learning.

Students will have the opportunity to work in multidisciplinary teams to develop business plans around real intellectual property emerging from laboratories at Harvard, MIT, various teaching hospitals, and other Boston-based scientific research institutions. Course faculty, teaching fellows and Laboratory for Innovation Science research staff and affiliates will provide significant mentoring and advice for project teams. Many past projects have entered and performed well in business plan competitions, with several alumni entering the science-based startup sphere as co-founders or executives afterward. 

HBS Lab to Market is open to cross-registrants. Interested cross-registrants should submit a resume here. The faculty will review all cross-registration candidates and select a subset that will reflect a balanced diversity of relevant fields of study to create interdisciplinary student teams.