Technology Commercialization in Developing Countries
Rice 360 has worked with the Jones Graduate School of Business to offer "Technology Commercialization in Developing Countries," a unique course taught by Dr. Marc Epstein. In the course, MBA students work in teams with undergraduate engineers to develop business plans for global health technologies, including technologies designed by students in the Beyond Traditional Borders initiative.
A Rice MBA student demonstrates the IV drip monitor to a health care provider in Rwanda.
Photo credit: Gale Wiley
In the first half of the course, students teams learn about their products, develop printed marketing materials, and refine their elevator pitches. Students then travel to a developing country -- past countries have included Rwanda and Liberia -- where they undertake field research for their business plans. The students meet with local manufacturers and distributors, government officials, healthcare providers, regulatory agency representatives, non-governmental organizations, and entrepreneurs. Students gather feedback on the design of their technologies and information for their business plans. In the second half of the course, students write their business plans and present them to potential investors and other stakeholders at a public event at Rice University.
Technologies have included a suite of medical backpacks, including general diagnostic, ob/gyn, dental, eyecare, and community health outreach; an IV-drip monitor to safely and accurately deliver IV fluid to children; a bubble Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device for neonates; the DoseRight syringe clip; a hand-powered centrifuge for the diagnosis of anemia; an LED-based phototherapy light to treat jaundice; and a filter-paper based anemia test.