Commercialization Readiness Assessment and Accelerator for Solutions in Healthcare

CRAASH is a 12 week program that facilitates the acceleration of healthcare innovations emerging from academic labs or start-ups into commercialization and clinical practice. It is delivered by industry veterans working in close collaboration with project team members.  It blends the decades of experience from CIMIT's pioneering work facilitating innovations and innovators with programs including the Coulter Foundation C3i Program and the NSF I-Corps Program as well as others to deliver a program that addresses the unique challenges in healthcare commercialization. Teams are comprised of at least three roles: a clinical lead, technical lead, and entrepreneurial lead. They are expected to put in 40hrs/week collectively while keeping their "day-jobs."

The program gets teams out of the comfort zone of their day-day work to conduct discovery interviews across key stakeholders to understand needs and test business related hypotheses, develop and validate value propositions and business models, define "De-Risking" questions and experiments, and create pitches to target funders. Emphasis is placed on getting out of the building to talk with stakeholders to understand their needs, the problems to be solved/"jobs to be done" and buying dynamics. Each week, teams complete assignments with the help of experienced entrepreneurs to build a sustainable business model. They present to a panel of entrepreneurs with diverse expertise to articulate and defending findings and engage in frank discussions to get feedback.

Course Composition

Weekly activities include interviewing stakeholders and completing assignments and take about 40 hours in total per team, representing a significant effort on the part of team members. However, this intense "intervention" by experienced HealthTech executives saves teams considerable time overall and accelerates time to market (or deciding that they do not have a viable business - no a desired outcome, but better to find-out as soon as possible!)  

Key topics covered in the weekly assignments include:

  • Learning how to Conduct "Discovery" Interviews
  • Understanding the Process of Innovation in Healthcare
  • Identifying and Validating the Economic Buyer
  • Defining and testing the Clinical Needs and the Value Proposition
  • Creating a Sustainable Business Model
  • Finding a Beachhead for Adoption
  • Navigating Regulatory Approvals
  • Establishing and Protecting Intellectual Property (IP)
  • Pitching to Investors

Executives from CIMIT's Accelerator Team work with each team to facilitate their efforts. Accelerator Executives are successful healthcare entrepreneurs, commercialization experts and investors. In addition to the one-on-one work, they review and critique the weekly report-outs of each team as a group, providing synthesized feedback to help balance the multiple trade-off's involved to most effectively de-risk the project.

Team Composition: 

Teams consist of three members with the Entrepreneurial Lead being the “Captain” and responsible for coordinating a team's work:

  • Entrepreneurial Lead: focuses on the overall business objectives, customer definition, business plan, etc.
  • Clinical Lead: focuses on the medical and healthcare delivery issues (can be a practicing physician, clinical department manager)
  • Technical Lead: focuses on the available technology options, requirements and architectural issues

Course Schedule

Web Orientation Session
- Expectations and Pre-reading
- An introduction to GAITS

Kickoff In-person Session
- The Healthcare Innovation Cycle/GAITS
- Stakeholder Interviewing
- Identifying the Economic Buyer
- The Healthcare Business Model Canvas - Part 1
- Defining Clinical Needs and the Value Proposition

8 Weekly Web-Meeting Sessions:
- Healthcare Business Model Canvas - Part 2
- Project De-Risking - GAITS Deep Dive
- Regulatory and Approvals
- Reimbursement
- Intellectual Property
- Business Economics
- Pitching to Funders
- Governance and Cap Tables

Close-out Session(s)
- Team "Pitches"
- Feedback

*schedule subject to change

Web-Meeting Structure

Two Hours (time TBD per program)  

First Hour (parallel groups of 3 - 4 teams)
Team Presentations & Feedback
(~15 - 20 minutes for each team)

Second Hour (all teams)
Weekly Lecture Topics and Discussions

This course is supported by NIBIB of the National Institutes of Health under award number U54EB015408.
The content is solely the responsibility of the CIMIT and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.