Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Graphic of OCTRI's innovation programming and how it is related to each other. See pdf in first paragraph of this page for details.

OCTRI strives to cultivate innovation in research.  Whether you have a burgeoning idea or a proof of concept that is ready for design, OCTRI has education opportunities to meet your needs.  Download a flyer that summarizes our programming or read more below.

Ongoing programming

OCTRI offers innovation and entrepreneurship programming throughout the year. Review our year-round programming options below.

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The INVENT Seminar Series hosts experts from the regional life science community to introduce fundamental principles of commercialization and entrepreneurship. This event aims to inspire and guide innovations from the university to the market, offer skill-building opportunities, develop a broad awareness of the commercialization pathway, and create robust networking opportunities.

Participants: The series is open to anyone at OHSU with an interest in innovation as well as the public.

Review series content.  Upcoming schedule and registration info in event list links below.

Upcoming INVENT Seminars

August 2020 - Topic and date TBD. Contact Melissa Mudd ( for more information.

Click on images to view past recordings.
INVENT and SoPE: Alternative Funding Panel

3/18/20 Invent and SoPE Alternative Funding Panel

Invent Panelists: Aaron Call, Holly Rockweiler, Fahti Khosrowshahi, and Patti White

6/25/20 Leveraging Market Research and Customer Outreach to Successfully Launch your Idea

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Join your fellow entrepreneurial-minded colleagues for this lively and informal opportunity to share your ideas and prototypes and receive input from a diverse cross section of clinicians, scientists, engineers, business and commercialization experts, and industry professionals. 

Eligibility: Forum meetings are open to anyone at OHSU active or interested in solving clinical problems with novel technologies regardless of experience level. Experts from outside of OHSU can join the forum by invitation.

Note: Lunch will be provided for all registered participants. Registration is required. 

To learn more, please email Sarah Biber, PhD:

Upcoming Innovator Forums

There are no scheduled Innovator Forums at this time.

Annual and quarterly programming

OCTRI offers several innovation and entrepreneurship programs on an annual or quarterly basis. Review these options below and check back regularly for updates on upcoming opportunities.

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Increase your SBIR/STTR application's competitiveness with this proposal development resource. OHSU investigators receive free advice and feedback from a panel of SBIR/STTR experts on commercialization strategy and opportunity, research approach, feasibility assessment and overall readiness, among other critical review components. View more detailsClosed to an audience for confidentiality.

Sessions are offered 3 times annually in February, July, and November ahead of major SBIR/STTR deadlines. 

Upcoming Commercialization Design Studios

Contact Melissa Mudd if you wish to present or have questions:

Commercialization Design Studios are offered at no-cost to investigators by the Collaborations and Entrepreneurship (C&E) office and the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI).

The OHSU Student Innovator Challenge is an OHSU student pitch competition, intended for student-led concepts or technologies. Students will come away with the skills and resources to:

  • Develop an effective pitch for a broad audience 
  • Understand the basics of bringing a concept from idea to market
  • Gain practical experience developing an idea into a tangible outcome
  • Connect with expert innovators and mentors from across the region

Winners of the 2020 Innovate Challenge (see below) will compete for cash awards in the InventOR Finals, which have been postponed to Sept 17-18th, 2020.  

Avi and Daniel hold up giant checks from InventOR 2020 competition
Two OHSU students advance to statewide InventOR 2020 finals: Avathamsa Athirasala, a Ph.D. candidate in biomedical engineering, for her high throughput screening platform for cell response to microenvironment, and Daniel Mullee, M.D. candidate, for his intraluminal wireless monitoring device. Click image for details on their projects.
Upcoming Competition Dates

Registration for the 2021 competition is open through March 22, 2021. 
See the full Competition Details .  

Fifty or more people seated and standing in a learning studio discussing innovation topics with their teams.

BIP Corp is a 4-week biomedical commercialization course designed for the busy medical academician with an early-stage project. 

Registration is currently closed. This course is typically held annually in the Fall. Contact Melissa Mudd for the 2020 course offering:

2019 Syllabus

BIP Corp Fact Sheet

Image advertising the OHSU Inventathon. Learn more at

***Update: This event was originally scheduled for May 1-3, 2020.  It has been rescheduled for October 23-25, 2020 due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.  We will regroup and share our plan for the new dates soon!***

OHSU is joining forces with MIT Hacking Medicine and partners from across the region to bring you the inaugural OHSU Invent-a-thon.  

Join us for a weekend of inter-disciplinary collaboration, inspiration, and creativity as we tackle pressing challenges that face our health care system today.  

If you are healthcare professional, engineer, maker, researcher, entrepreneur, business expert, designer, developer, student, or patient who is interested in advancing healthcare then this is the weekend for you. You will have a chance to join an inter-disciplinary team of fellow innovation enthusiasts, brainstorm and build a prototype, receive guidance from mentors, and pitch a solution to compete for up to $40,000 in team prizes. Come propel an idea into action!  

Learn more and apply at the OHSU Inventathon website.

MIT COVID-19 Challenge

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is hosting the MIT COVID-19 Challenge, a series of virtual health hackathons focused on developing and implementing immediate solutions to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The OHSU community participated in the hackathons April 3-5, 2020 and May 29-31, 2020.  Learn more about outcomes and progress on the MIT COVID-19 Challenge website

For additional information, please contact Sarah Biber, PhD:

Commercialization resources

OCTRI's innovation and entrepreneurship team gathers and vets commercialization resources. We store those that pass our vetting process here.

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The federal government provides early-stage capital for startups through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) grant programs.

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"All about the SBIR Grant Process: An insider's Perspective", a comprehensive look into the SBIR/STTR programs by Dr. Jim O'Halloran, expert SBIR veteran and study section reviewer. 

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NSF Webinar: Start Your Project Pitch. Peter Atherton, an SBIR/STTR Program Director, discusses the first step: the Project Pitch.

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Need assistance with market research for your technology or idea? Survey the competitive landscape with Global Data Medical.  Schedule an appointment with OHSU's Market Research Lab.

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OHSU's Entrepreneur-In-Residence program supports clinicians and researchers as they develop innovations for commercialization. Learn more about the EIR program.

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Listen to Steve Runnels, one of OHSU's EIRs, discuss his role in an interview by EIR Podcast. 

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ScienceDocs provides writing support services for research and startup funding, publication, and technical communications.  Review additional ScienceDocs resources here.

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Ready to discuss your needs?

Contact an OCTRI Navigator for project guidance and support.


Support for entrepreneurship at OHSU

OCTRI's provides entrepreneur education opportunities at no cost to our investigators.

Listen now on Sound Cloud

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Biomedical Innovation Program (BIP)

Apply for funding for your collaborative translational research.

Get the details

OBI BioScience Map

The Oregon Bioscience Incubator (OBI) developed a BioScience Map that captures all known bioscience companies in the Pacific Northwest.  If you would like to add your company to this map, please visit the OBI website.  Start exploring below!