Conductor, UAMS, BioVentures, and Arkansas INBRE collaborate to host an innovation sprint for undergraduate and graduate-level students around the state.
CONWAY—Conductor, BioVentures, UAMS, and Arkansas INBRE are collaborating for the seventh year to host a 4 day sprint for undergraduate and graduate students from across the state of Arkansas. Formerly known as the Health Science Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, the Healthcare Innovation Sprint will take place May 13-16, 2024.
“The Healthcare Innovation Sprint unites students from various majors and institutions in the state of Arkansas and offers a hands-on learning experience in healthcare innovation.
It is truly remarkable to observe how the participants acquire skills that enable them to transition from an idea to implementation while cultivating meaningful relationships with their peers, industry experts, presenters, and mentors.”, said Ericka Gutierrez, Director of Operations of the Conductor.
The Healthcare Innovation Sprint guides students through an immersive 4-day training program in which they learn about healthcare innovation, how to identify potential problems, talk to key stakeholders and customers to gather information, and develop innovative solutions. The sprint creates entrepreneurial and interactive learning opportunities for students from all disciplines to collaborate and complete the entrepreneurial processes of starting a venture with their peers.
Mentor for the Sprint, Brandi Keith, shared, “The Healthcare Innovation Sprint is an event I look forward to every year. It is amazing to watch the participants begin with a seed of an idea and then collaborate with their teammates and mentors to refine the idea into a viable business in such a short amount of time. As a mentor, I learn as much as the participants do every year!.”
In 2023, 14 students from across the state identified healthcare problems with industry experts, completed customer discovery at Conway Regional Health System to better understand the problem, and designed solutions centered on the issues and needs of the key stakeholders. Students are exposed to over 70 presenters, experts, and mentors throughout the camp. The winning team developed an innovative catheter solution for inpatients that lowers the risk of infection rates.
“The Healthcare Innovation Sprint is an immersive event where you are challenged to think of ways to improve patient safety, and then pitch those ideas in the form of a business plan. Through this event, I was able to learn from healthcare specialists and veteran entrepreneurs. We also had the opportunity to network with like-minded peers. This event was incredibly valuable to my training as a communicator, biomedical scientist, and aspiring entrepreneur.”, said a 2023 sprint participant.
Alumni have reached great achievements in entrepreneurship and many have changed career paths and/or pursued entrepreneurial initiatives due to the sprint experience. One student group from Harding University that completed the 2022 Spring went on to compete and win the pitch competition at the 2023 Arkansas Governor’s Cup. Overall, five alumni have established new healthcare startup companies in Arkansas. An alumni team also participated in the Regional I-Corps program in Austin, TX, following the sprint.
The lodging, food, and programming are at no cost for accepted students and are funded through Arkansas INBRE, BioVentures, and the Conductor. Students are accepted from a diversity of backgrounds and majors. Eligible students must complete at least their sophomore year of college at the time of the sprint and be a student from an Arkansas college or university. Space permitting, spots may be available for immediate graduates and graduate or doctoral students.
The week-long camp will conclude with a Demo Day on May 16, 2024 starting at 5:30 pm at the Arnold Innovation Center during which the public is invited to attend in person or virtually as the teams present their new venture ideas.
The application period begins on January 23, 2024, and candidates may find more information and apply at arconductor.org/sprint. The early consideration deadline for the Camp is March 29, 2024. All other applications are due by April 26, 2024.
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