01 Jun 2013
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Accelerating Therapies

Blavatnik Family Foundation to fund Biomedical Accelator and Blavatnik Fellows Program at HBS

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Len Blavatnik (MBA 1989) The Blavatnik Family Foundation is catalyzing Harvard's efforts to translate basic scientific discoveries into new therapies and cures. The Foundation, led by American businessman and entrepreneur Len Blavatnik, recently committed $ 50 million to support programs aimed at fostering an entrepreneurial culture in the life sciences across Harvard with gifts for the new Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator and the Blavatnik Fellows program at HBS.

"By increasing the collaborative efforts between Harvard Business School and Harvard's scientific community, we will empower the next generation of life science entrepreneurs and provide a further catalyst for innovation and research development," observed Mr. Blavatnik.

The Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator is designed to foster greater interaction between academia and industry by supporting early-stage technologies, enhancing their value, and making them attractive candidates for licensing, startup formation, and commercial development. The idea for the Blavatnik Fellows program resulted from conversations between Dean Nitin Nohria, Harvard University Senior Associate Provost and Chief Technology Development Officer Isaac Kohlberg, and HBS Professor of Management Practice Vicki Sato about how to bridge the work of the Accelerator with that of MBA students who are passionate about the life sciences.

Professor Sato developed the very popular HBS field course, Commercializing Science: Biomedical and Life Science Focus, which attracts students from across the University. The course focuses on creating breakthroughs, working with other professions such as science, medicine, and law, and moving research from the lab to the marketplace. A centerpiece of the course is a multi-disciplinary team project to create a business plan for commercializing research from a university or private sector lab.

As Dean Nohria explained, "With student interest in entrepreneurship at an all-time high and with the resources of the Harvard Innovation Lab i-lab and HBS's Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship at the ready, we are well positioned to make the most of this generous gift from the Blavatnik Family Foundation." The fellowships will provide recipients with a stipend, i-lab residency, and specialized programming and mentoring.

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Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 1989, Section F

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