The BIO-Entrepreneurship Capstone
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

December 21, 2023

Related Announcements

  • November 22, 2019 - Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity. See Notice NOT-OD-20-031.

Issued by

Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)


NIH announces the 2024 BIO-Entrepreneurship Capstone to enhance early scientists’ understanding of the potential value and healthcare impact of their life science research activities, and to encourage consideration of an entrepreneurial career within the life science industry.  

Interest in Promoting Diversity  

Every facet of the United States scientific research enterprise from basic laboratory research to clinical and translational research to policy formation requires superior intellect, creativity and a wide range of skill sets and viewpoints. NIH’s ability to help ensure that the nation remains a global leader in scientific discovery and innovation is dependent upon a pool of highly talented scientists from diverse backgrounds who will help to further NIH's mission. 

Research shows that diverse teams working together and capitalizing on innovative ideas and distinct perspectives outperform homogeneous teams.  Scientists and trainees from diverse backgrounds and life experiences bring different perspectives, creativity, and individual enterprise to address complex scientific problems.  There are many benefits that flow from a diverse NIH-supported scientific workforce, including: fostering scientific innovation, enhancing global competitiveness, contributing to robust learning environments, improving the quality of research, advancing the likelihood that underserved populations and those that experience health disparities and inequities participate in and benefit from health research, and enhancing public trust.  For more information, see NOT-OD-20-031: Notice of NIH's Interest in Diversity

To help promote a diverse entrepreneurial research workforce within the life science industry, NIH  encourages eligible individuals from diverse backgrounds, including individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups to register to participate in the program.  Students, postgraduate fellows, and early career faculty from resource limited institutions, as well as HBCUs, HSIs, and  Tribal Colleges and  Universities are also encouraged to participate.

Program Stages 

The BIO-Entrepreneurship Capstone runs through a partnership with the Ernest E. Just Life Science Society. Lean Startup certified instructors and product development experts use case studies to facilitate learning.  The program consists of three stages with gated advancement from stage one through stage three.  

Stage 1 – Introduction to Life Science Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (~6 weeks, virtual)  

Stage 1 of the program consists of virtual interactive sessions to introduce fundamental principles of design thinking and Lean Startup methodology.   

Stage 2 – Project Development (~8 weeks, virtual) 

Stage 2 participants will be selected for a limited number of slots based on Stage 1 performance and project proposals. Participants are required to form or join entrepreneurial teams for a deeper immersion into advanced customer discovery, market research, validating business hypotheses, IP management, and entrepreneurial leadership mentoring and coaching.   

Stage 3 - BIO International Convention Preparation & Presentation (~2 Weeks, in-person required) 

Participation in Stage 3 is on a competitive basis after successful completion of Stages 1 and 2. Selected participants are provided with personalized coaching and prepared to attend the 2024 BIO International Convention (June 3rd – 6th, 2024). Participants may also have the opportunity to present their project to life science industry representatives. 

Participation in all stages of the BIO-Entrepreneurship Capstone is free. 


The BIO-Entrepreneurship Capstone is open to students, postgraduate fellows, and early career faculty in the life sciences.  Candidates who are new to the NIH funding ecosystem are encouraged to register, as no prior funding or active NIH project experience is required.  


Registration for the program will open in late December 2023. Stage 1 sessions begin in late January. More information about the program and how to register may be found at  


Please direct all inquiries to:

Eric W. Padmore MHSA
Senior Advisor Entrepreneurial Development