The Bench-to-Bedside competition is an exciting and vibrant program designed to introduce medical students, engineering students and business students to the fascinating world of medical device innovation. It began as a beta-test for the BioInnovate program, but has quickly become our most popular and dominant student program. Student teams form into multidisciplinary start-up companies and are given the task of identifying an unmet clinical need. Teams are given access to over 100 University physicians from a broad area of specialties to serve as their consultants, key opinion leaders, and stakeholders. The teams have six months and a $500.00 development fund to develop medical device concepts that address their identified need. In that six-month time period students will have evaluated the IP landscape, prototyped their design and constructed a business plan.
The program culminates in a formal presentation of all team projects at an annual awards competition. The event draws participation from faculty physicians, residents, industry leaders, venture capital firms and the highest echelons of the University leadership. The team projects are evaluated and scored for business strategy, design quality and healthcare impact by a VIP panel of judges. The top teams are awarded over $70,000 in prizes intended to provide initial funding to support further project development.
The enthusiasm for the Bench-to-Bedside has been remarkable from its inception. In the first year of the competition, over 100 students participated, forming 14 entrepreneurial teams. The creativity and out-of-the-box thinking shown resulted in very unique design concepts, several of which are currently heading toward commercialization. In previous years, the Bench-to-Bedside competition has drawn a pool of over 180 students and nearly half of the entire first, and second-year medical school class.
Vivian S. Lee, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.
Senior Vice President for Health Sciences
CEO, University of Utah Health Care
Dean, University of Utah School of Medicine
John Langell, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.
Executive Director of the University of Utah
Center for Medical Innovation