November 14, 2007
ASU and MCG partnership receives funding
Augusta, Ga. – Augusta State University business students will gain real-life experience with biotech companies at the Medical College of Georgia thanks to a public/private partnership and a joint venture between ASU and MCG.
The Intellectual Capital Partnership Program—an economic development program of the University System of Georgia—will provide students in ASU’s James M. Hull College of Business an opportunity to link with developing businesses in MCG’s Life Science Business Development Center. Between eight and 10 internships, starting in the spring semester, will provide business students experience in the biotechnology industry.
“The life science industry is growing,” says Jonathan Goolsby, the outreach coordinator for MCG’s Life Sciences Innovation Center. “One area where scientists have a lack of expertise is in business operations. Their businesses sometimes find it difficult to locate people who are qualified to work in these industries. And it’s very attractive. The average salary is $75,000.”
As part of the new program, students will learn about writing business plans, analyzing external and internal business environments, analyzing markets, customers and the competition, analyzing key financial documents, planning pricing and communications strategies, and resolving distribution issues. They will spend 10 hours per week for six weeks with an assigned bio-tech startup company. For their work, students will receive three hours course credit.
“This effort allows us to bring together the world of biology with the vision of the business world to benefit ASU students and the start-up companies at the Life Sciences Innovation Center at MCG,” says Carolyn Ingraham, ASU’s director of Continuing Education and ICAPP liaison.
Each business in the MCG incubator will also reap benefits from taking part in the program. The approach for a participating company will be customized to meet its needs but will typically include a business plan that can be used to identify sources of funding and support.
In the short-term, the internship will build a permanent, interdisciplinary course to be offered at least once a year. The long-range goal is to explore developing a special area of study in the Hull College of Business where students can take a series of biology courses leading to a Bio-Medical Business degree concentration.
“I hope to see this initial internship program grow in the future to become a permanent bio-business track within the Hull College of Business curriculum,” Ms. Ingraham says. “This type of collaboration can have a big impact in creating jobs and business opportunities in the CSRA.”
Nabil Ibrahim, Professor in the Hull College of Business, will serve as the lead instructor for the internship. Rich Griner, Christine Terry, and Jason Andrus from ASU’s Department of Biology will facilitate the biology component as well as the student-business connection.