WE-REACH Biomedical Innovation Bootcamp in Partnership with CoMotion NSF I-Corps is Open to Regional Teams

Learn the steps to move from idea to launch and meet the mentors who can guide you along the way. More about the experience>>>



Hosted in partnership with CoMotion’s NSF I-Corps Site Program  participants from Pacific Northwest regional research institutions learn about customer discovery, FDA regulatory strategy, business models, legal issues, and more.

Next session begins January 2021 
Location: Meetings will be held virtually
No cost to attend

December 2  DEADLINE to apply 
December 23 Deadline to secure your mentor



January 12 or 13 from 8am – 12pm Mandatory kickoff workshop

WE-REACH Bootcamp Sessions, 2-4pm on Thursdays
January 21  Customer Discovery and Competitive Analysis
January 28  Regulatory Strategy and Product Development
February 4  Business Models, Budgets, and Funding Sources
February 11  Legal Issues and Intellectual Property

February 16 or 17 Final Pitch Event


Can’t attend? Start learning through video recordings of our Panels of Experts from past sessions:

Video Playlist

The WE-REACH Biomedical Innovation Bootcamp is integrated with CoMotion’s NSF I-Corps Site Program. The approach is designed for academic innovators, whether they be students, staff, or faculty. Each team needs to come with an idea they think has potential for impact. The 6-week program kicks off with a customer discovery training workshop that empowers participants to quickly learn where their product fits and who the purchasing decision-makers are. The follow-on WE-REACH bootcamp sessions and I-Corps workshops help teams delve into their competitive landscape, understand regulatory processes, estimate costs and revenues, and be alert to legal issues.

Participants from all regional research institutions are welcome to apply.

Questions? Email Terri Butler at TLButler@uw.edu

Week 1: I-Corps Customer Discovery Training

Teams kick off with a half-day experiential training in customer discovery. The key to rapidly being able to identify key customers and market opportunities is to learn how to do informational interviews with a wide variety of people in the market ecosystem. The interviews must use an open-ended approach, NOT a sales approach. Innovators usually need training and practice to develop these skills.

Week 2: Customer Discovery and Competitive Analysis

Teams arrive at the WE-REACH bootcamp with a first draft of their Lean Canvas. Agenda includes bootcamp orientation, expectations, introduction of teams and mentors, and a fireside chat covering problem-solution, product-market fit, competitors, and market research tools. Breakout sessions connect participants with mentors to discuss what they have learned in their weekly customer discovery interviews and make updates to their Lean Canvases. Video of panel discussion.

Week 3: Regulatory Strategy and Product Development

The whole group will gather to hear a fireside chat with experts covering product development, regulatory processes, and clinical study requirements. In follow-on breakout groups teams will discuss what they have learned in their interviews that week and explain updates to their Lean Canvases with their mentor group.  Video of panel discussion.

Week 4: Business Models, Budgets and Funding Sources

The session will start with a conversation with experts covering business models, budgeting, cost estimates, revenue projections, and sources of funds for development including angel and venture funding, grants, and crowdfunding. Teams then meet in breakout sessions with their mentor group to discuss weekly customer discovery interviews, key learnings, and present their updated Lean Canvases.  Video of panel discussion.

Week 5: Legal Issues and Intellectual Property

The weekly fireside chat will be with legal professionals who will cover important legal and intellectual property issues teams should be aware of. Teams then meet with their mentor group for one final session to review and discuss their customer discovery interviews, related Lean Canvas updates and plans for moving their project forward.  Video of panel discussion.

Week 6: Final Presentations

Teams each give a short presentation to experienced mentors and hear key feedback on next steps. They have an opportunity to apply for $2500 in funding to continue customer discovery activities.

Additional information…

The 6-week program starts with a half-day CoMotion NSF I-Corps Customer Discovery Training Workshop. In the 4 weeks that follow the WE-REACH Biomedical Innovation Bootcamp meets for 2 hours once a week covering competitive analysis, FDA regulatory requirements, product development, business models, budgets and funding sources, and legal issues. Additional optional I-Corps workshops cover storytelling and pitch deck preparation. The 6th and final week culminates with pitch presentations to mentors who offer feedback on next steps. Teams that successfully interview a number of key parties and advance their customer discovery are eligible to apply for a $2500 grant to enhance further customer discovery efforts.

This is a starter bootcamp aimed at teams that are new to innovation implementation and commercialization processes. More advanced teams are welcome to participate if they would like to continue developing their business models and building mentor connections. We use the Lean Startup process.

  • The bootcamp applies a reverse classroom approach with video lectures provided each week so teams come prepared to work with their mentors and hear real-world input from guest speakers at the in-person virtual meetings.
  • The first hour of the weekly meetings include in-person interviews of successful innovators and experts discussing key points relevant for that week’s topic area.
  • During the second hour of each weekly meeting teams will break out into groups with mentors where they will discuss their own projects, highlight weekly changes to their Lean Canvas, and get advice on next steps.
  • Between the weekly meetings teams will interview as many real-world contacts as they can to quickly prove or disprove their assumptions about their innovations. The goal is to do at least 10 interviews per week. These interviews help teams understand where their innovation fits, what needs to be done to further its development, where project/company funding might come from, how the end product or service would be launched and other critical information.