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City to Launch New 'Mini MBA Program' to Boost BioTech

By Jill Colvin | May 29, 2012 2:20pm
A rendering of the interior of the Cornell/Technion's proposed net-zero energy building on Roosevelt Island.
A rendering of the interior of the Cornell/Technion's proposed net-zero energy building on Roosevelt Island.
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NEW YORK — The city is planning to launch its own mini-tech school just as Cornell University's new high-tech grad school prepares to welcome its first class. 

The city’s Economic Development Corporation requested bids Tuesday for a free, new, competitive "mini MBA" program that aims to train grad students, post-doctoral candidates, professors and engineers to become entrepreneurs in the life-sciences and health-care fields.

"These sectors represent a critical source of economic growth in the city," reads the bid proposal, which is part of a larger push to transform New York City into a high-tech hub.

The "Bio & Health Tech Entrepreneurs NYC" program, which would be taught by business experts, would focus on giving candidates with academic experience new tools to translate their backgrounds into private-sector businesses, with specialized training in technology and financial management.

"Over the past several years, the city has made significant investments in infrastructure to bolster the life-sciences industry and help translate the city’s strengths in basic academic research into commercial activity," the request reads. The notice points to the new Cornell-Technion applied sciences campus, which is set to launch this summer inside of Google's Chelsea headquarters, and the new Center for Urban Science and Progress, planned in Brooklyn in conjunction with New York University.

The CornellNYC Tech curriculum will focus on three hubs, including "healthier lives," which will be dedicated to developing new medical technologies.

A second request for proposals, also issued Tuesday by the city, aims to help companies and academics that are conducting research in the health-care and life-sciences fields to secure federal small business grants through training sessions and other support.

"These initiatives are designed to lay the groundwork for the creation of new businesses and encourage entrepreneurial development," the request reads.

The efforts are similar to other initiatives launched in recent years to attract promising young fashion designers to the city and equip them with business skills, including "Design Entrepreneurs NYC," another “mini MBA” program that offers free, intensive training to 35 designers at Fashion Institute of Technology to help them gain the business savvy to run their own labels.

Proposals for the health care mini MBA program are due by June 29.