Rochester Institute of Technology’s Saunders College of Business has been awarded a grant of up to $500,000 by Empire State Development to establish an online life sciences Executive MBA entrepreneurship program. The new degree will be formed in partnership with RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, College of Science, and Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.
“RIT and Saunders College of Business are excited for this opportunity,” said Saunders College Dean Jacqueline Mozrall. “Supported by Empire State Development’s Entrepreneur Development Grant, we will develop and deliver a customized program that will serve to bridge our nationally ranked online Executive MBA with the rich portfolio of life sciences, engineering, and computing expertise found at RIT. This initiative will position entrepreneurs to drive commercial applications and job creation in the life sciences.”
The new online Executive MBA program will take 17 months to complete and will offer three tracks for students to choose from: biomedical engineering, bioinformatics, and a customizable option.
Outside of classes, students will form relationships with professional life sciences mentors, complete at least one real-world life sciences entrepreneurial project, and have the option to sponsor their own capstone start-up project with support from the RIT Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship or RIT Venture Creations business incubator.
“In the RIT tradition, this will be a very applied program from start to finish, including consulting projects in which our students will work with firms in Life Science industries,” said Jeffrey W. Davis, director of RIT’s EMBA and Executive Education programs. “This unique applied experience combined with unmatched networking opportunities will distinguish our students and continue to set Rochester apart as a hub for new venture growth.”
The program is expected to welcome its first cohort in fall 2022.
This New York state grant is part of an intiative to address the growing need for entrepreneurial talent in New York’s life science ecosystem. First announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2019, the grants are meant to help close the talent gap that previously limited life science commercialization in the state.
Other 2021 recipients include Cornell University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Stony Brook University, and University at Buffalo.
This gift is part of Transforming RIT: The Campaign for Greatness, a $1 billion university fundraising effort, the largest in university history. This blended campaign seeks support from a variety of investors, including alumni and friends, government and corporate partners, and research foundations and agencies. The campaign has raised $805 million to date.