Short courses


Health Ventures, Enterprises and Start-ups

  • 7 hours per day + 5 hour preparation
  • 3 days


This three day executive education course will help you to navigate the unique challenges of the healthcare start-up world and get your ideas successfully to market.

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, and themes including:

  • the start-up health market
  • digital opportunities
  • appropriate business models
  • venture capital and private equity markets

Throughout the course, you'll work on a group innovation project and pitch this to a panel of investors.

You'll also enjoy access to several experts in the digital health innovation space and a site visit to a startup incubator.

Course aims

The aim of this course is to provide you with:

  • an immersive experience into the expanding world of digital health startups so that you can move confidentially with your innovations to see them realised
  • maximum exposure and networking opportunities with experts and experienced individuals who have taken health products and ideas to market

Who this course is for 

This course is for those who:

  • want to take their ideas to the next level or launch a startup in the health sector
  • have already have established their own company
  • work for organisations where they want to spin out their ideas into a company of their own
  • want to explore the possibility of setting up a company in the future

Course content

The course includes four modules and a final session which will pull everything together. 

1. Understanding the start-up health market

Monday 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 startup
  • contexts in which entrepreneurship can flourish or flounder
  • decision-making processes
  • the dynamics of the health marketplace

2. Digital opportunities

Tuesday morning session

This module will enable you to critique future products. It will cover the:

  • development of digital intellectual property (IP)
  • extent of the current landscape
  • development cycle abyss and methods to overcome it

You'll also learn about prototyping methods, translational schemes, and conversion to a functional product.

3. Developing your business model

Tuesday 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 develop a business plan and pitch to share with potential investors.

4. Venture capital and private equity markets

Wednesday morning session

This module looks at how venture capital and private equity markets work, with a focus on how they can be used to advance startups to innovate healthcare products. You'll 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.

5. Pulling it all together

Wednesday afternoon session

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

Teaching and structure 

This 3-day course (Wednesday to Friday) will involve:

  • interactive lectures delivered by guest speakers and UCL academics
  • site visits
  • pre-readings
  • discussions
  • hands-on exercises

Assessment and certificates

You'll receive a certificate from UCL Global Business School for Health when you successfully complete the assessment.

The assessment will involve a group presentation and challenges involving working in teams to propose a product pitch to investors. A panel of angel investors will judge the pitches.

You'll also receive formative assessment at the end of each day in a 360-degree feedback session. In this session you'll give your reflections on the speakers, events and activities across the day, and receive comments from the module conveners. These sessions will also be an opportunity for you to engage in peer-to-peer dialogue and peer review.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, you'll 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 startup 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

Entry requirements 

You must:

  • be fluent in English
  • have a minimum of an undergraduate degree or significant work experience
  • have at least three years of professional experience in a startup, digital technology, venture capital, or the health sector


This fee for this course is £3,600.

This covers all tuition, course materials, lunches, and networking events (welcome reception on Monday evening and a group dinner on Tuesday).

We can give you help booking accommodations near our campus once you've been accepted into the programme.

Course team

Professor Nora Ann Colton - Convener

Professor Nora Ann Colton - Convener

Nora is Director of the UCL Global Business School for Health (GBSH). She's a health and international development economist specialised in the Middle East. She speaks Arabic and publishes on issues relating to globalisation and health in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Read Nora's full profile on the GBSH website.

Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 16:01