Global Health Commercialization Competition

Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI), in partnership with the William Davidson Institute (WDI) and the Center for Global Health Equity (CGHE), are hosting their inaugural Global Health Commercialization Competition in 2023.

The Global Health Commercialization Competition will create and support a community of faculty innovators from across the University of Michigan that are actively working on technical solutions to healthcare problems in emerging markets.

The program will include two key components: a professional development course and a pitch competition.

The Course

FFMI will administer a course similar to its flagship course, fastPACE. Although the course is not mandatory for pitch competition participation, learners will benefit substantially from the course by:

  • Learning the basics of innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology commercialization
  • Connecting with a network of commercialization experts, mentors, and support staff
  • Developing a compelling business case for developmental resources and key partnerships

Course Schedule

Kickoff Session – January 27, 2023, 12-3pm (EDT)

The kickoff session will focus on the fundamentals of life science commercialization, including stakeholder mapping, value propositions, and customer discovery. The kickoff session will help you:

  • Identify critical stakeholders within the innovation’s ecosystem
  • Construct problem, solution, and value proposition statements
  • Examine critical stakeholder perspectives to determine each stakeholder’s needs and motivations

Note: before kickoff session, you’ll need to complete several hours of instructional materials, along with a pre-course assignment that you’ll present to the class during the kickoff.

Week 1 Checkpoint – February 10, 2023, 12-3pm (EDT)

The first checkpoint webinar will focus on intellectual property and the competitive landscape. Using your innovation as a focal point, you’ll learn how to:

  • Determine your innovation’s IP status and strategy in the context of your ecosystem
  • Conduct a competitive landscape analysis

Week 2 Checkpoint – February 24, 2023, 12-3pm (EDT)

During the second checkpoint webinar, we’ll dive into market assessment and monetization strategy. By the end of the webinar, you’ll be able to:

  • Conduct preliminary market assessment
  • Describe early-stage monetization strategy

Week 3 Checkpoint – March 10, 2023, 12-3pm (EDT)

We’ll discuss the FDA and other regulations during the third checkpoint webinar, particularly in a global context. This checkpoint will help you:

  • Locate applicable regulations and regulatory bodies
  • Identify context-specific policies, regulations, or procedures that will affect your path to approval and compliance
  • Outline the regulatory path to approval and compliance

March 13-17, 2023 – Business Case Refinement (No checkpoint)

You’ll spend the week before the finale event revising your work, continuing your customer discovery efforts, and working on your final presentation. We strongly recommend scheduling office hours with your teaching team to receive additional support and feedback.

Finale event – March 24, 2023, 12-3pm (EDT)

All course participants will present their final assignment to the class during the finale. The presentation will include all your work in the course to date, including your development timeline, key milestones, and the resources required to bring your innovation to market.

Course Format

After you submit the registration form, the FFMI Commercialization Education team will reach out to you to schedule a brief (30 minute) Zoom meeting to go over course expectations and logistics.

The course will be delivered online, in a synchronous and an asynchronous format.  In a true flipped-classroom approach, participants will review educational material and conduct course assignments independently. All learning materials will be delivered and submitted via Canvas. Then, participants will meet with instructors during the checkpoint webinars and office hours to check for understanding and progress and explore the nuances of commercialization topics within a global context.

Questions about the course? Contact Jon Servoss (Director of Commercialization Education) at and Katherine Mercieca (Commercialization Education Program Coordinator) at

The Pitch Competition

Prospective competition participants will submit their proposals no later than April 14, 2023. A committee including CGHE leadership, WDI, and Designing for Impact in Global Health (DIGH) members will review the proposals and issue feedback by April 28. Up to six of the most promising projects will be selected to participate in the pitch competition on May 22, 2023. Leadership from these selected projects will meet with FFMI one-on-one prior to the competition.

Pitch competition participants will have 15 minutes to present their business case to a panel and 10 minutes to answer questions.  The winner of the pitch competition will receive $30,000 in development funding from the Center for Global Health Equity and the William Davidson Institute, and the opportunity to propose a MAP project to the Ross School of Business for a team of MBA students to develop their business plan in more detail. The William Davidson Institute will fund and provide technical support to the MAP team.

Questions about the pitch competition? Contact Christabel Sefa at

March 13, 2023