Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Better Ideas

  • If you want to invent a device or procedure to solve unmet medical needs,
  • If you envision bringing better methods of patient care to life,
  • If you want to learn to navigate the health care business ecosystem,
  • If you enjoy the rewards of participating on a multidisciplinary team,

... then this path is for you.

Welcoming our newest group of M1s to the I&E Path

The Innovation & Entrepreneurship Path of Excellence gives medical students a unique insight into the rapidly expanding culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in biomedical research and medicine.

Supported in part by Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI), the path offers firsthand experience on the innovation process leading to new biomedical devices, diagnostics, therapeutics, health IT, service line improvements or policy advances. Other collaborators include the U-M College of Engineering, U-M Medical School, Zell Lurie Institute, U-M Office of Tech Transfer and U-M Ross School of Business.

For students who are passionate about improving health care through innovation, the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Path of Excellence provides the resources, perspective and exposure to explore all aspects of this career choice. Students may also fulfill their Capstone for Impact requirement through this Path.

Med students are encouraged to join this Path in their M1 year, however you can choose to apply at the beginning of M3 year. Students who sign up for I&E take the Foundation of Innovation seminar series during their M1 year. See how the rest of I&E works.


I & E Electives:

Before starting M3 year, you will work with the I&E coordinator to determine the best timing for your I&E Branch elective experience:

Venture Capitalist Elective – assess the commercial viability of a biomedical startup, learn how to invest and learn how to create a business plan.

Business Development Elective – work with the FFMI Business Development team on various industry/company interactions, jump into idea consultations and learn about managing strategic idea development.

Student-Led Innovation or Entrepreneurship Elective – design and participate in your own I&E internship/externship, and develop a project with a researcher, faculty, resident or other team member.

MI-Pitch Club:

FFMI offers several learning opportunities for students to engage with faculty, venture capitalists and industry experts. MI-Pitch Club is a monthly pitch competition where multidisciplinary students and faculty come together to solve real medical problems and compete for prizes. Each event will pose a Design Challenge from a sponsoring Michigan Medicine department. Participants will have roughly one hour to prepare a 60-second pitch. The winning person/team will earn a prize and the possibility to work with the sponsoring department to implement their innovative idea. Check the FFMI site for upcoming dates.

  • The I&E path created a platform that could connect me with the right resources and opportunities to develop my interest into a major passion. It was the catalyst for many of my multidisciplinary experiences in medical school.

  • Faculty are eager to provide opportunities for I&E path students to learn and get involved on a project or research team. If something you wish to pursue is not offered, do not be afraid to reach out to faculty to try to make it happen. Get involved early and use the resources offered to you to get hands on experience in a unique aspect of the health care world.

  • I like being able to work on creative and innovative projects outside of the standard medical school coursework and having the support to do so. It’s a great way to exercise a different part of your brain.

  • Before med school, I worked in healthcare consulting and learned about medical device R&D. I wanted to apply my skills and experience to further innovative solutions for medicine. Today, my research is looking into novel imaging techniques for the retina, a project I found through the I&E path.

  • I have learned so much from the I&E path and have met amazing people. It gave me the resources to create impactful projects. I&E helped me network and find funding for my projects. The path helped me see medicine in a different way, to see challenges as opportunities to innovate.

Related Info

Sling Health Executive Team

More than 150 project teams have graduated the fastPACE Course and used their experience to secure additional funding, find collaborators, submit publications, and conduct additional research.

Medical Innovation Group
Hub for students interested in bringing design, engineering, tech, IT and entrepreneurship into health care and medicine.

Sling Health
Students, faculty, staff and entrepreneurs from across the University of Michigan team up to tackle unmet needs in health care delivery and clinical medicine.
Read M1 Sudharsan's Dose of Reality blog about his involvement in Sling Health.

Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Ross School of Business
Provides programs, staff and infrastructure to support student entrepreneurs of all types and companies at all stages of development.

By creating meaningful educational opportunities, this unique program will help develop creative physician-innovators who can have significant impact on the future of patient care.

Mark Cohen, MD, FACS, Professor of Surgery and Pharmacology Director, Medical School Pathway of Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship Director of Endocrine Surgery Research Department of Surgery