Skills Series

Innovation & Commercialization

PhD Plus offers Innovation seminar series every Fall and Commercialization training every Spring to develop business skills and prepare traines in a variety of careers, such as: independent research careers; careers in business, venture capital, or early-stage, companies; or aspiring entrepreneurs. The skills training module is developed and offered in collaboration with the UVA Darden School of Business Batten Institute and the UVA Licensing and Ventures Group.


David Touve, Senior Director, Applied Innovation, at Darden's Batten Institute.


The purpose of the Innovation series is to foster a more innovative and entrepreneurial mindset by introducing participants to and engaging them with the challenges faced by innovators and entrepreneurs. PhD Plus Innovation series is meant to provide relevant frameworks and skills whether you are pursuing a new research project, starting up a new lab, hoping to commercialize an invention, or simply interested in working at the intersection of science and society. The weekly seminar series spanning 12 weeks every Fall semester, involves a mix of case discussions, workshops, and conversations with invited experts, covering topics such as: customer discovery, entrepreneurial mindset, market analysis, prototype development, and design thinking. Upon successful completion (70%) of this series, PhD students are eligible for a non-credit credential (PhDP 9420) in their academic transcript.

Fall 2021 Topics and Schedule

PhD+ Innovation seminar series was be offered every Tuesday at 3:30 PM (ET).  Upon successful completion (70% or 7 of 11 sessions; excluding guest speaker sessions) of this series, PhD students are eligible for a non-credit credential (PhDP 9420) in their academic transcript. Topics included:

Info Session | The "Entrepreneur"  | Anatomy of a Startup Pitch | Design Thinking | Guest Speaker Problem Identification | Hypothesis-Driven Prototyping | Understanding Market Context | Guest SpeakerValue Proposition | Financial Mechanics | The Business Model 


PhD Plus Commercialization series provides a  more specific background in the players and processes involved in the commercialization of inventions/discoveries (e.g., stakeholder interests, patents, license structures, sources of funding and deal terms, founders' agreements, incorporation). This module is offered every Spring semester, and developed in collaboration with the UVA Darden's Batten Institute and the UVA Licensing and Ventures Group. 

Spring 2022 Topics and Schedule

PhD+ Commercialization seminar series will be offered every Monday between January 31 and April 11 (except Feb 21 and March 7) at 4.30- 5.45 pm on Zoom. Upon successful completion (75%, excluding session 10 ) of this series, PhD students are eligible for a non-credit credential (PhDP 9430) in their academic transcript. Topics include:

  1. Anatomy of a Pitch | Jan 31
  2. Starting up and Staging Risk | Feb 14
  3. Founding Teams & Agreement | Feb 21
  4. Incorporation | Feb 28
  5. Intellectual Property Primer | March 14
  6. The Patent Process | March 21
  7. The license agreement | March 28
  8. The funding landscape | April 4
  9. VC Method & Terms | April 11
  10. Founder Panel | April 18


Register here by Friday, Jan 28