Training employees to take big ideas to market

MD Anderson’s employees are full of ideas — ideas about new ways to treat cancer, new ways to improve patient care, new ways to reduce preparation time for certain procedures and so much more. Discovery is one of our core values, so we’re focused on it every day. But turning those ideas into realities takes more than creativity or business savvy alone.   That’s where MD Anderson’s Center for Entrepreneurship Advancement (CEA) comes in. Filling the gap to make ideas a reality “Many of our faculty and staff are wired to be innovators, but their education and training haven’t given them the tools to make their ideas reality,” says Christopher Taylor, CEA director and program director in Strategic Industry Ventures. “The center is designed to fill the gap through educational offerings and a variety of programs.” CEA is intended to be the go-to resource at MD Anderson for entrepreneurs of all kinds. It offers education and programs, working in conjunction with other MD Anderson resources, such as the Office of Technology Commercialization. CEA offers a four-hour workshop on commercialization fundamentals, an Entrepreneurship Academy, and the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program, the premiere federally funded innovation and commercialization education program in the United States. Connecting innovators to business mentors is another area of focus. Led by Program Manager Alejandro Tortoriello, Venture Mentoring Service-Houston provides team-based business mentoring for real-world guidance, and Texas Venture Connect is a virtual mentoring network across the UT System. This year, the center is expanding its offerings to include the BIO2Oncology Tech Accelerator and a women-focused community called WIN4Oncology. Our quest to end cancer requires innovation, and...