Registration for the Spring 2019 Biodesign course is now closed. We'll begin accepting applications for 2020 in November 2019. 

The projects-based course equips students with tools to create solutions to real-world healthcare needs. Students can either work on an unmet clinical need identified by a partner hospital or propose their own need. Participants will be placed into multidisciplinary teams and work together over the 12 week course to develop a concept and a viable business model.

Biodesign is open to all students who are enrolled in or have completed a graduate level program or above and are passionate about entrepreneurship. Students of all disciplines from across Harvard and the Boston community are welcome to participate.

students brainstormingOur teaching philosophy is interactive and hands-on. We take students through the Biodesign process through team activities, guest speakers, and lectures that provide a foundation. Classes will be led by entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, IP attorneys, and other experts.

Students build skills and acquire experiences that will enable them to identify needs, assess opportunities, and create a lasting competitive advantage for creating innovative products and services.  

This is a non-credit bearing course held every Tuesday evening, February 19th through May 7th from 4:30 - 6:30pm at Harvard Medical School. Application opens November 12th and closes January 29th. Email jennifer_bourgoin@hms.harvard.edu with questions.

Learn more

About the course

We bring real-life clinical needs from our partner hospitals and institutions and give students an opportunity to reimagine solutions that meet those needs. Clinical needs will span health IT, medical devices, medtech, therapeutics and care delivery.

Biodesign is a project-based course with an emphasis on identifying clinical needs, validating needs, brainstorming, and concept creation. Key concepts are taught through a combination of “practicals” and lectures from experts in the fields of Health IT, medical devices, and medtech. “Practicals” are discussion sessions intended to be interactive and problem based.

Participants will be placed in teams based on project interest and background. During the 12-week course, students are required to spend time outside of class working on projects. The final deliverable will be a pitch to a panel of expert judges. 

Who should participate

If you are interested in healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship, this is a great opportunity to experiment with brainstorming a new solution to a proven clinical need. Teams following this methodology have previously formed companies and successfully secured funding.

Our focus is to create multi-disciplinary teams to provide the best learning experience for everyone. We welcome all disciplines and schools across Harvard and the Boston community to participate, but you must be enrolled or have completed a graduate level program or above (MBA, Post doc, Phd, MD candidate, graduate level engineering program, design programs etc).

Application process

We are only accepting 25 students this year. We require students to fill out a brief application explaining their interest in the program. Applicants will be selected based on commitment to the course and to assure a balance of disciplines. Applications are due by Tuesday, January 29th. 

Requirements and Professional Conduct

Students must

The Biodesign innovation course is taught by a combination of Harvard Medical School Faculty, affiliated Faculty and healthcare entrepreneurs, corporate executives, intellectual property attorneys, and venture capitalists. As such, it provides a unique opportunity to gain real-world experience while still in an academic environment.

Although this is a non-credit bearing course, these industry experts have donated their valuable time to offer real-world experience and feedback. Students are expected to arrive to class on time and give presenters their full attention.


This course is free of cost. We do require that each student provide a $100 check prior to or during the first class, but the check will only be deposited if the student doesn't meet the requirements listed above. 


All classes will be held on the Harvard Medical School Campus. Enrolled students will be able to view the course syllabus for exact locations.


Every Tuesday from February 19th - May 7th from 4:30 - 6:30pm


Contact Jennifer Bourgoin at jennifer_bourgoin@hms.harvard.edu for more information.


Registration is closed for the 2019 Spring Biodesign course, but we'll open the application for 2020 in November 2019.