UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Business Planning in Bioprocessing and Life Sciences

Course Title  BENG3005
Level Three
Credits  0.5 
Course Tutor  Professor Eli Keshavarz-Moore
Assessment Business Plan and its Elements (40%)
Contribution to Workshops and Oral Presentations (60%)


Based on tools and know-how gained in the ‘Evaluation and planning of business opportunities in bioprocessing and life sciences’ course, students will construct business plans for start-up companies based on a given idea in the bioprocessing and life sciences conceived in the Department. 

Learning Hours


Workshops: 40h
Oral presentations preparation: 45h


This course gives “hands-on” training in the evaluation of ideas and the execution of an appropriate business plan.  The exercise focuses on setting up start-up company but the issues encountered such IP evaluation, regulatory considerations, costing of operations etc. are useful tools in planning in all businesses within this sector of industry.

The students will work in groups of no more than five, each undertaking a particular role within the start-up company.  Workshop sessions will act as surgeries to the ‘new companies’ with the help of expert industrial mentors.  Each session will focus on a different aspect of company set-up.  Key topics include:

  • Profiling of the team and identification of roles.  Mission statement and company philosophy.
  • Formulation of the product and assessment of the feasibility of the bioscience/bioprocessing base to which it relates.
  • IPR identification and assessment of competitor’s position.  Evaluation of need for licensing and royalty arrangements.
  • SWOT analysis and exit route options and decisions.
  • Clinical trials and manufacturing considerations.  In-house versus outsourcing.  Regulatory compliance and its impact on the plan.
  • Cost analysis of the resources.  Operational considerations.  Bioprocessing needs.
  • Financial planning and sensitivity analysis based on current economic climate.  Speed to market analysis to highlight rate limiting steps.

The students will be provided with a portfolio of information (case start-up pack) from which they can draw relevant details for their business plan.  Sector relevant information (e.g. Web site details, textbooks, market forecasts) will be provided.

The students are required to report on their progress at the workshop sessions and will make a final presentation to a panel of judges, which will include experts from the industry.