The following post was originally published on Devendra Mishra’s LinkedIn blog.

Bio Supply Management Alliance (BSMA) had the unique opportunity to conceive and promote a “Commercialization Boot Camp” in Life Sciences in collaboration with the City of Fremont, Biocom, Biomedical Manufacturing Network and Biomedical Engineering Society on the 28th of September at the Marriott Hotel in Fremont. Thirty mid and upper-level scientists, engineers and executives from startup companies came together to seek and gain insight into the steps and strategies required to bring a new biomedical product to market. The participants networked with industry peers while learning through expert presentations and interactive sessions related to Product Design, Strategic Forecasting, Piloting for Product Enhancement and Commercializing New Products. The organizing institutions represented extraordinary resources of their member organizations in terms of expertise, technology and knowledge.

Gregory Theyel, Director of the Biomedical Manufacturing Network, was the Navigator in Chief of the seminar. He provided a brilliant overview of the microclimate of the SF Bay Area Biomedical Industry Overview.

The subject of Product Design was addressed by Andy Switky, Founder at Code Name Collective and Former Associate Partner and Managing Director of Healthcare Design. The Director of Manufacturing of IDEO and founder of IDEO Shanghai, Andy articulated that product design must include the translation of customers’ needs into technical requirements and design parameters. This module taught the methodology for gathering and analysis of customer needs.

Lori Lai, PhD, Director of Product Management at Talis Biomedical, presented a systematic approach to Sales Forecasting. She pointed out that organizations use strategic forecasting to support decisions about their future strategic positioning. Forecasting helps companies align their business with future demand and strategically commercialize their new products and services.

Addressing the challenge of Piloting for Product Enhancement, Nelli Theyel, Senior Manager and Market Planning Lead for BioOncology & Immunology at Genentech, emphasized that piloting is critical for product commercialization and manufacturing. She highlighted that effective piloting enables testing of the product to see how well it works in the appropriate context and workflow while relationships are developed with likely customers and partners. Finally, Nelli explained the consideration of additional features required to optimize the solution for the customer and/or patient.

For the final segment on “Commercializing New Products”, Mike Zuerlein, former Manufacturing Engineer at Illumina, observed that Teams developing a new product often face a formidable gap between their concept or prototype and commercializing their product. He taught design principles and considerations for manufacturability and quality and cost review in order to move a new product to commercialization.

The four-segment curriculum of practical and insightful instructions was interspersed with small-group projects. The participants departed after a social hour with the realization that they were better equipped for their formidable entrepreneurial journey because of their peers and mentors. With the success of the Pilot Boot Camp, the organizers are looking forward to building upon their learnings and attendee feedback. The Life Sciences community is urged to explore how their objectives for innovation and profitability can be served through the Boot Camp for Commercialization.