Global Business School for Health


Health Ventures, Enterprises and Start-ups

Become a next-level innovator in healthcare and the digital health start-up world, placing yourself at the core of a leading edge industry that can transform global health.

The healthcare sector is striving for a better quality service, universal access, and good patient outcomes. Healthcare innovation is widely seen as being a solution, with $80.6 billion in equity funding awarded to 5,500 healthcare start-ups in 2020 alone (CBS Insights report). This three-day executive education course has been designed by world leading UCL experts to enable you to navigate the unique challenges in the healthcare start-up world in order to succeed.

A career changing experience

Delivered by the UCL Global Business School for Health (UCL GBSH) – the world’s first business school dedicated to health – our Health Ventures, Enterprises and Start-Ups executive education course provides an opportunity for you to step back from the everyday to drive your organisation or ideas forward. Just some of the highlights of the course include a site visit to a start-up incubator, learning skills and strategies for identifying digital health solutions and innovations alongside experts and peers, and working on a group innovation project to put your learning to practice. Complete with a new network of likeminded global health innovators, you’ll come away with the skills to identify and develop health innovations, as well as the knowledge to bring ideas to market. 

The power of UCL and London

Embarking on this executive education course brings you the exceptional benefits of studying at a world top 10 university with globally renowned health credentials. You’ll make the most of our elite custom built facilities at UCL East, where UCL’s heritage, disruptive spirit and ambitions for public good converge. Anchored by the inimitable experience of London – a global city that is a leader in health and business – the Health Ventures, Enterprises and Start-Ups executive education course provides unprecedented opportunities to innovate in the healthcare field.  

Make a difference as a senior leader

Despite the innovations in healthcare and the growth patterns in this field, health start-ups sometimes fail. Often this is because they don’t follow appropriate business models, or there is a lack of understanding about regulations, policies, organisational hierarchies and funding. Designed by global experts in this field, this executive education course helps participants bring together ambitions for healthcare innovations, with a solid basis for getting ideas to market successfully.

What's involved

  • Designed and delivered by renowned digital health experts, this programme will give you an insider view of the health start-up market, helping you navigate the sector to get ideas to market.
  • In particular, you’ll learn skills and strategies for identifying digital health solutions in response to need, exploring their potential as innovations. Ultimately, this will enable you to shape opportunities to improve health access and outcomes for patients. 
  • You’ll explore key elements in relation to digital health innovations, which will be your building blocks for successful ventures in the future. Key learning themes include the start-up health market, digital opportunities, appropriate business models, venture capital and private equity markets. 
  • A group innovation project will also be developed throughout the course, delivered as a pitch to be critiqued by a panel of investors at the course finale.
  • Making the most of the innovation London has to offer, participants of the course will enjoy access to several experts in the digital health innovation space and a site visit to a start-up incubator.

Who the programme is for

Our Health Ventures, Enterprises and Start-Ups executive education course is for ambitious innovators who want to drive forward their health innovation ideas or launch a start-up in the health sector. You may have already launched a start-up or a small or medium sized business, but need some help to be successful. You could be a digital technology enthusiast working for a relevant organisation, looking to spin out your idea into a company of your own. Or you may be at an earlier stage of your journey, keen to explore the possibility of setting up a health venture in the future. Researchers, entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals and digital technology experts keen on bringing about global good through health innovation will all find their place on this course.

Programme curriculum

Incorporating both contextualised and experiential learning, this course is delivered through interactive lectures from guest speakers and UCL academics, which is supplemented by a site visit, reading, participant discussions and hands on exercises. You will also be given access to recorded sessions and pre-reading before the start of the course and throughout the modules. Much of the learning will be directed through real world case studies and project-based learning from leading experts in HealthTech and MedTech sectors. 

The course content is delivered through five modules over three days, from 9:30am-5:30pm (UK GMT), with an hour-long break for lunch. Each day ends with a 360-degree feedback session, where you will be invited to share your reflections on your learning, the speakers, events, and activities across the day, and receive comments from the module conveners that day. These sessions will also be an opportunity for you to engage in peer-to-peer dialogue and peer review.

As part of your self-led learning, academic readings and self-assessment tools will be available online. There will also be discussion forums on our course Moodle website where you can pose questions to colleagues and instructors throughout the course for debate and answers.

Students will complete one assessment for the programme, which will involve a group challenge and presentation involving a product pitch to a panel of angel investors. On completion of the course and the assessment, you will receive a certificate from UCL GBSH.


Understanding the Start-up Health Market

Wednesday morning and afternoon sessions

This module gives you frameworks and models to shape your thinking about businesses driving forward innovation in the digital health sector. Module content includes the complexities of initiating a healthcare start-up, the contexts in which entrepreneurship can flourish or flounder, decision-making processes and the dynamics of the health marketplace.

Digital Opportunities

Thursday morning session

Covering the development of digital intellectual property (IP), the extent of the current landscape, the development cycle abyss and methods to overcome it, this module enables students to critique future products. Module content also includes prototyping methods, translational schemes, and conversion to a functional product.

Developing your Business Model

Thursday afternoon session, including a site visit followed by a group dinner

Taught by experts who have successfully raised funds to see their ideas realised, this module is designed to give you approaches to take your ideas forward. You’ll look at ways to evaluate the market potential of your digital health opportunity, and a business plan and pitch to share with potential investors.

Venture Capital and Private Equity Markets

Friday morning session

The module looks at how venture capital and private equity markets work, with a focus on how they can be used to advance start-ups to innovate healthcare products. You will learn about the unique features and challenges of investing in digital health and healthcare innovations, focusing on early stage companies who struggle the most to raise capital.

Pulling it all together

Friday afternoon session

After working on a group project throughout the course, through which you will draw on your learning and group discussions, you will present your product pitch during this session. This pitch will be critiqued by a panel of investors, who will provide valuable feedback that you can refer to as your take your health innovation ideas forward.

Programme Faculty 

Adam Dubis - Honorary Associate Professor UCL

Dr Adam Dubis has always sought to mix innovation and enterprise activity with more traditional academic pursuits. This started with the ScienceWorks Programme at Carthage College during his undergraduate experience, and commercialisation of several products during his graduate work. Since taking up a faculty post at UCL in 2013, he has been an academic partner on many business innovation grants in the US, EU and UK in the areas of image acquisition and analysis within digital health ecosystems.  

Having been a mentor for the UCL Pharmaceuticals and Formulations MSc for several years, he also took roles teaching Digital Opportunities in Entrepreneurship within Bioscience Entrepreneurship and is Programme Lead for the new Digital Health Entrepreneurship MSc Programme at the UCL Global Business School of Health. 

He actively consults across the imaging space of digital health enterprise and holds advisory roles with a number of charities looking to evolve their data aggregation and analysis efforts. and hold visiting Professorships at Universite de Lausanne (Switzerland) and University of Utah (USA). He is the holder of several patents in the digital health space and is currently a founding member on two digital health start-ups.  

Dr Maryam Atakhorrami - visiting lecturer at UCL GBSH - Innovator and HealthTech Entrepreneur

Dr Maryam Atakhorrami is an innovator and HealthTech entrepreneur with deep expertise in translating science and commercialising deep tech for healthcare products especially for chronic conditions. She has worked at the boundaries of industry, academia, and healthcare systems internationally, initiated and delivered variety of projects in large organization as well as start-ups through partnerships. She was named as one of the Movers and Shakers of UK BioBusines in 2019. 

Maryam is passionate about technology to empower and enable better health outcome and addressing the challenges of aging society. She is currently founding and building ventures at the interface of health and social care. In parallel she provides strategic advice on translation, fund raising and partnering to leaderships of start-ups as well as organizations such as Medcity. Prior to this she was Chief Operation Officer for Health Data Research UK- London, Head of Business & Innovation at UCL’s Translational Research Office and Innovation Program leader in Philips. Maryam received her PhD in Physics of Complex Systems from VU Amsterdam and has published numerous peer reviewed scientific papers.

She is lead inventor of 10 worldwide technology patents underpinning a range of Philips technologies for digital health products

Manuel Opitz - visiting lecturer at UCL GBSH - CEO & Co-founder DeepEye

Before co-founding DeepEye as CEO, Manuel Opitz studied industrial & bioengineering at RWTH Aachen and Trinity College Dublin (MSc). After corporate experiences in technology scouting and operations management in Germany, China and Switzerland, he pursued postgraduate studies in economics at the trinational CDI in Paris (MBA). After a year as a patent broker for medical technologies, he founded his first own startup Mecuris as CEO & COO.

Overall, he raised more than 10mio€ for 4 medtech startups, lead teams of up to 30 people and hired over 100 changemakers. In today’s role as CEO of deepeye, he analyses healthcare processes and uses digital technologies like AI to empower physicians to better serve their patients.

As a regular speaker at healthcare, 3D printing & startup conferences, he aims to bridge the gap between digitalisation and the European healthcare system to individualise patient care.

Dr Rebecca Pope - Clinical Neuroscientist at UCL and the UK Digital & Data Science Innovation Lead for Roche

Dr Rebecca Pope (she/her) is a Clinical Neuroscientist (PhD & post-doc, UCL) and the UK Digital & Data Science Innovation Lead for Roche, a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. Prior to Roche, Rebecca held data science roles within the NHS, IBM and KPMG.

At Roche, Rebecca’s focus is on working with real world data (RWD), towards personalised healthcare within Oncology, Ophthalmology, Neurology and Rare Diseases. Rebecca is a regular keynote speaker at international conferences; has delivered a TEDx talk titled ‘How can AI help our NHS and should we be concerned?’ and has published a number of academic research papers; written several scientific commentaries in The Times & The Guardian, and received National awards for her research.

Rebecca has been voted as one of ‘The Most Influential Women in UK Tech’ (2019-2021) and is a voluntary data scientist at Great Ormond Street Hospital and PhD supervisor and Senior Research Fellow at UCL (ICH/GOSH). Rebecca is deeply passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion in STEM & society. She is an active member of a number of networks (Stonewall, OneHealthTech, SheCanCode, MadeByDyslexia & various Roche networks) and mentoring initiatives that encourage an inclusive environment.

Dr Peter Thomas - visiting lecturer at UCL GBSH - Chief Clinical Information Officer and Director of Digital Medicine, Moorfields Eye Hospitals

Dr Peter Thomas is the Chief Clinical Information Officer and Director of Digital Medicine at Moorfields Eye Hospitals. His current interest is in digital transformation of clinical care, and creation of a hospital environment that can embed and sustain technologically enabled and automated services. To achieve this he has recently founded the UK’s first Department of Digital Medicine. By clinical training he is a paediatric ophthalmologist.

He is national clinical lead for transformation in the National Eyecare Recovery and Transformation Programme and sits on the NHSx Remote Monitoring Board. Prior to medicine Peter undertook his PhD in computational neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, and spent time working in research and development at IBM.

On completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Relate fundamental business principles to the digital health ecosystem.
  • Use knowledge about digital health opportunities and frameworks to move forward confidently with a start-up venture or health innovation idea.
  • Navigate the process of raising funds for innovations.
  • Use practical research approaches to develop evidence based knowledge to validate innovations.
  • Use project management and problem solving skills to successfully run a health venture.

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