Newswise — TROY, N.Y. — With the recent award of a New York Life Science Entrepreneur Development grant from Empire State Development (ESD), the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will launch a life science entrepreneurship concentration within their Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.

As one of only five institutions in New York State selected for this five-year, $500,000 grant, Lally will play a pivotal role in developing the next generation of leaders for the growing life sciences sector in the Capital Region and throughout the state.

The school will partner with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, as well as with the School of Engineering and School of Science at Rensselaer, to create both the 21-credit MBA concentration and a shorter, 12-credit certificate program in life science entrepreneurship that will be available to students at both Rensselaer and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. This collaboration will harness the power of the interdisciplinary approach to research and education that drives Rensselaer.

“We are well-positioned to maximize the potential of this program. Rensselaer is committed to cutting-edge research in the life sciences, and Lally has particular strengths in entrepreneurship education,” said Chanaka Edirisinghe, the acting dean at Lally. “This effort will also strengthen the existing ties between Rensselaer and Mount Sinai as we work together to advance the life sciences ecosystem in New York State.”

The New York Life Science Entrepreneur Development grant program is designed to help close the talent gap that has restricted life science commercialization in the state by developing entrepreneurs with the mix of skills and expertise needed to successfully guide innovative life science startups along the path to commercial viability.

“Empire State Development is strongly committed to building a robust life science industry in New York State,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler. “By developing the specialized entrepreneurial talent needed by life science companies right here in New York, we will be better equipped to advance the discovery research conducted at our world-class academic centers and retain that research in New York as it moves closer to commercialization.”

Shyam Kumar, an associate professor, the director of the MBA program at Lally, and the project lead for this grant, indicated that the support from the state will particularly enable Lally to build a robust curriculum focused on entrepreneurship in the life science industry and to foster connections with key industry professionals.

“From the demands of regulatory approval to the time-intensive process of bringing technology to market, life science entrepreneurship carries its own set of challenges,” Kumar said. “This grant positions Lally on the forefront of this transformative area of entrepreneurship and will create profound opportunities for students in our graduate program.”

The Lally team members in this project include Dorit Nevo, an associate professor and the acting associate dean for academic affairs, and T. Ravichandran, a chaired professor of information systems and the associate dean for research.


About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,600 students and over 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit