Neurotechnology Ventures

[Class Content]   [Fall 2014]  [Fall 2012]  [Fall 2011]  [Fall 2010]  [Fall 2009]  [Fall 2008]  [Spring 2007]  

MIT Course Numbers: 9.455 ~ 15.128 ~ 20.454 ~ MAS.883
Instructors: J. Bonsen ~ E.S. Boyden ~ R.G. Ellis-Behnke
Units: H-level ~ 2-0-7 Units
Time: Thursdays, 2-4pm
Place: E14-525


Special seminar focusing on envisioning, launching, and building start-ups that are commercializing innovations from neuroscience and neuroengineering. Topics include neuroimaging, diagnostics, motor rehabilitation, affective computing, novel scientific tools, and novel therapeutics including neuropharmaceuticals, neuromodulation, neuroprosthetics, regenerative medicine, and more. Each class is devoted to a specific topic area, exploring issues from the deeply technical through the market opportunity. Working in small groups students prepare a business plan executive summary for a new neurotechnology start-up.

Limited Enrollment -- Please email two paragraphs summarizing your: (1) Professional Skills & Experience, and (2) Inventive/Entrepreneurial Aspirations.


Th 9/5 Overview of the state of neurotechnology.

Overview of the class, case studies and team projects.

How to succeed at the class.


Instructor 1-minute elevator pitches.

Th 9/12 GUEST PANEL: Clinicians. The big needs in neurology, psychiatry, and neurosurgery. Other neurotechnology needs across the scope of medicine.

Panel members: Alex Golby, Harvard/BWH; Fumi Yoshida, MIT; Carl Marci, Harvard/MGH.

Th 9/19 GUEST SPEAKER: Vinay Gidwaney

Title: Dailyfeats, Maxwell Health, and more.

"How to Think" and "Curating Innovation" - getting resources, researching, collaborating, synthesizing.

Homework #1 due: Interviews of 3 neuroscientists and 3 engineers/solution providers, with ideas on architecting neurotechnologes.

Th 9/26 1-minute elevator pitches by class members.


Homework #2 due: Idea generation using tiling trees, do-the-opposite, other "saturation ideation" strategies.

Th 10/3 GUEST SPEAKER: Jamie Tyler, Isy Goldwasser

Title: Neurotrek

Th 10/10 GUEST SPEAKER: Philip Low.

Title: Neurovigil.

Th 10/17 VC/Investor panel.

Panel members: Dan DiLorenzo Rush University Medical Center/Sante Ventures; James McLaughlin, Third Rock Ventures.

Th 10/24 No class (MIT Sloan SIP Week)

Informal office hours: resources: legal, financial, fundraising, networking, the Boston community, the global neurotechnology community.

Homework #3 due: Evaluations of ideas from homeworks #1 and #2, according to impact, uniqueness, and "magic" criteria.

Th 10/31 Midterm presentations: the 6-slide presentations.

Other class members will serve as critics and provide peer-review commentary.

Guest commenters will also be invited to participate in the critique.

Th 11/7 GUEST SPEAKER: Rob Goldberg.

Title: Neumitra.

Homework #4 due: Peer review of the midterm presentations.

Th 11/14 GUEST SPEAKER: Jud Brewer

Title: GoBlue.

Homework #5 due: Hurdles and surprises, past and anticipated.

Th 11/21 GUEST SPEAKER: Todd Huffman

Title: 3scan

Th 12/5 Final presentations by each team.

Final 2-page executive summaries due today too.

Neurotechnology Entrepreneurship Panel will be present to provide feedback.

Panel members: Xue Han, Assistant Professor, BU; Kiran Reddy, Sage Therapeutics/Third Rock Ventures.