“Keep in mind that successful companies are less about the original idea and more about the learning, discovery and execution.” - STEVE BLANK

We are now accepting team registrations for the 2015 CSUPERB Early-stage Biotechnology Commercialization Challenge.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN BY PARTICIPATING (based on feedback from previous Challenge Teams):

  • Learn about what is needed to take a life sciences idea to a commercial product
  • Gain a greater understanding of biotechnology markets and customers
  • Improve your ability to work with a cross-disciplinary team
  • Learn how to find a market for bioscience ideas by working with industry experts
  • Gain appreciation for the preparation, methods and work needed to advance a biotechnology product concept
  • Gain skills in explaining ideas and concepts while interacting with potential customers
  • Learn how to tell a story to win support for ideas or to recruit others in a cause

The CSUPERB Challenge is an early-stage biotechnology commercialization program for CSU students.  Student teams start with a biotechnology idea, apply creative thought, and interview potential customers to develop a market application (product or process).   Teams attend webinars to learn about the customer discovery process, business model canvas concepts, business communications, legal and biotechnology regulatory issues. Webinars will be taught by experienced life science entrepreneurs, industry professionals and faculty associated with the CSU I-Corps Biological Sciences Site.

The 2015 CSUPERB Challenge is expanded with funding from the National Science Foundation and it builds on previous experience hosting the CSUPERB-I2P Challenge (2012-2014).  Over the fall 2015 Challenge teams get out of their labs, innovation centers and classrooms and off campus to interview customers and consult with life science advisors and mentors. On the Final Weekend, Challenge teams present their product concepts at the 27th Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium at the Santa Clara Marriott. The teams’ success will be gauged by the amount of learning they do over the course of the Challenge.  At least $6000 in awards will be made to teams at the symposium.


1)  View the Challenge calendar to review 2015 Challenge activities, deadlines and milestones to figure out if you have time to participate.  Friday Lunch Webinars will be offered every other week September 12th until November 7th.

2)  Are you eligible? Find out how to build out team rosters for the 2015 CSUPERB Challenge.

3)  Register! Interested teams should designate a point-of-contact (PoC) to fill out the registration form.

All team registrations are due by September 8th.

4) Check your personal calendars again.  The 2015 CSUPERB Challenge will culminate at the 27th Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium (January 8-10, 2015, Santa Clara Marriott).  Happily, symposium registration, lodging, meals and travel reimbursements for finalist teams will be provided by CSUPERB.

Please email or call the program office (619-594-2822) if you have questions.

With funding from the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Site program, $2500 microgrants are available to mentored CSUPERB Challenge teams. Microgrants can be used to consult with mentors and advisors, to attend industry meetings to meet potential customers and advisors, to fabricate prototypes, and/or to buy research materials and supplies for proof-of-concept work.