Dartmouth Announces Cancer Innovation Accelerator

Dartmouth Entrepreneurs Forum Week 4 

Cancer Innovation Accelerator

During the final day of the Dartmouth Entrepreneurs Forum, Barry Schweitzer, Senior Business Development and Licensing Manager in the Technology Transfer Office at Dartmouth College, announced a new program that will strengthen the already rich biotech entrepreneurship environment on campus.

The Dartmouth Innovations Accelerator for Cancer is a partnership between the Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship, the Geisel School of Medicine and the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. The accelerator will help to bring the most promising cancer research through to commercialization, in order to reach the market and change the lives of patients.

Through the accelerator, scientists with cancer innovations will learn about the business of biotech and how to translate their innovations into the market. They’ll receive guidance from alumni who are industry leaders and staff at the Magnuson Center and the Tech Transfer office.

The first session of the accelerator will run for ten weeks, from January to March 2021. During that time, participants will learn about drug innovation from Simbex and Celdara Medical. They’ll have access to competitive intelligence from Informas Pharmaprojects and Meddevicetracker. In addition, funding will be available to select participants, including one $300K Venture Development Award, one $100K Early Stage Project Award, and one $50K Quinn Innovation Award.

The best, most efficient way for us to bring Dartmouths biomedical discoveries to cancer patients around the world is through entrepreneurship,” says Steven Leach, the Preston T. and Virginia R. Kelsey Professor at the Geisel School of Medicine and director of Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

The accelerator was made possible by the generous gifts of five alumni, who raised more than $1.4 million in initial support. They are Todd Sisitsky D 93, chair of the Geisel Board of Advisors and managing partner at the investment firm TPG Global; Hoyoung Huh D 91, founder of Healthcare & Humanity Foundation; Ross Jaffe D 80, co-founder and managing director of Versant Ventures; Stephen Bloch D 84, CEO of EvolveImmune Therapeutics and general partner of Canaan Partners; and Steven Rodgers D 93, head of healthcare investing for Morgan Stanley Capital Partners.

The accelerator has a goal of raising $15 million in philanthropy by 2022. Those funds will be used to continue to support biotech innovation. There have already been 14 startups launched from research that has emerged from the Cancer Center, and the accelerator aims to increase that number, further establishing Dartmouth College as a leader in biotech innovation.

We are launching the Accelerator through philanthropy. But our goal is to work toward a model where the Accelerator will eventually support itself as proceeds from these innovations flow back to the institution,” said Jamie Coughlin, director of the Magnuson Center. This is a well-established evergreen approach to investing, and now is the time to build this at Dartmouth.”

To make a gift to the accelerator, contact Bethany Solomon.

The accelerator is open to all faculty who are working on cancer-centered projects. Faculty must Submit your Application here by November 2nd . They will be notified about the decision on their application by Nov. 13. For more information, contact Barry Schweitzer at the Technology Transfer Office, or Lidia Schoonenberg at the Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship.

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