Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences - online (AMC PhD Program)

Information about the course Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences.

Go to application form for AMC PhD.

Go to application form for VUmc PhD candidates.



The course provides an overview of the essential elements of entrepreneurship and innovation as well as a practical guidance for starting an innovative company in the field of Health and Life Sciences. Using an interactive approach, the course offers tools and the opportunity to develop a business case and aims to raise your interest in becoming a (life science) entrepreneur yourself.


    The course runs once a year and consists of three half-day sessions (09.00 – 13.00 hrs), with interval of several weeks between the sessions.

      Scheduled dates:

      • May 12, June 9 and June 23, 2021.


      The course is a combination of lectures and workshops covering the essential components of entrepreneurship. Participants are encouraged to take up an assignment in small groups or individually, in the period between the two days of the course. The assignment will consist of working on a business case, which preferably (but not necessarily) is based on an opportunity/innovation from your own research (product, service, process etc.).

      At the end of day 2, the participants will get an opportunity to pitch their case to a jury panel that will judge the proposition and awards a prize for the best pitch.

      Content details:

      On day one, participants will get a general introduction to entrepreneurship. They will learn about the processes involved in the recognition and exploitation of opportunities and about creating economic and social value with their company.

      After that, the participants will share their initial business ideas and will be invited to form teams to work on these business cases. In the period between the two days of the course an afternoon will be planned to discuss the cases together with business coaches. Day 1 will end with and interactive workshop on designing a business model for your innovation using the tool Business Model Canvas.

      The second day will start with a lecture on how to attract capital and fund a life science startup. It will be followed by a talk on the intellectual property aspects in the Health and Life Sciences businesses.
      After lunch a pitch training will be held during which the participants will learn tips and tricks of a succesfull pitch and practice their pitching skills.

      In the afternoon all participants will work on business cases and the 3-minute pitches will be prepared. Business coaches will support the preparation process.

      The day ends with a “Dragon’s Den”-like pitch competition in front of a jury panel.

      On both days participants will meet entrepreneurs who will talk about the ups and downs of their business journey in the field of Health and Life Sciences.


      Day 1:

      • Lecture: Guest company (1), the transition from academia to entrepreneurship.
      • Workshop: Entrepreneurship in Health and Life Sciences.
      • Workshop: Business Model Canvas - theory and practice.
      • Lecture: Guest company (2), an interactive business case.
      • Teaming up for the assignment.

      Day 2:

      • Lecture: Guest company (3), an interactive business case.
      • Lecture: Funding your life science startup.
      • Lecture: Commercializing emerging life science technologies.
      • Workshop: Pitch training.
      • Workshop: Improving the business cases (coaching sessions).
      • Pitch competition.


      Participants are encouraged to come up with a business idea before the course starts. Possible idea sources: your own research (product, service, process, etc.), a need/gap spotted on the market, etc.


      During the pitch competition on Day 2 the jury panel will select the winner (a team or an individual) who will receive a EUR 500 prize for the best pitch.

      Target Audience:

      AMC PhD candidates and others interested.

      We gladly invite VUmc PhD candidates to participate.


      The course is given in English.


      To qualify for the certificate, a participant must attend all lectures and workshops on, both course days. Attendance is registered.

      Study load:

      42 hours, which is comparable to 1.5 ECTS points.

      Number of participants:

      Maximum 45 per course.


      No charge for registered AMC PhD candidates and VUmc PhD candidates. Other employees of the AMC, AMC Medical Research BV or VUmc can participate provided slots are available. All other participants are charged a fee of 500 euro.

      Course coordinator:

      Elizaveta Kolesnichenko / ACE Incubator / Liza@ace-incubator.nl/ tel +31 (0)6 - 178 35493.

      More information:

      From the course coordinator or AMC Graduate School / graduateschool@amc.uva.nl / E2-172 / tel. +31 (0)20 - 566 4618.


      AMC Graduate School
      E-mail: graduateschool@amc.uva.nl
      Tel: +31 (0)20 - 566 3108