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15.128/9.455/20.454/MAS.883  Neurotechnology Ventures ~ Commercializing Brain Science & Engineering

Fall 2014

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Instructors: Joost Paul Bonsen, Edward Stuart Boyden, Rutledge Ellis-Behnke

Lecture:  R 2-4pm  (E15-341)        


Calendar --

Location -- E15-341 -- 3rd floor of E15, in middle of building; it's easiest to enter through E14 and go across Third Floor Atrium --

Description -- Special seminar focusing on envisioning, launching, and building start-ups that are commercializing innovations from neuroscience and neuroengineering. Topics include neuroimaging, diagnostics, motor rehabilitation, affective computing, novel scientific tools, and novel therapeutics including neuropharmaceuticals, neuromodulation, neuroprosthetics, regenerative medicine, and more. Each class is devoted to a specific topic area, exploring issues from the deeply technical through the market opportunity. Working in small groups students prepare a business plan executive summary for a new neurotechnology start-up.

Limited Enrollment -- Please email two paragraphs summarizing your: (1) Professional Skills & Experience, and (2) Inventive/Entrepreneurial Aspirations.


How long should 6-slide presentations take?

The 6-slide presentations should take, ideally, around 6 minutes -- one minute per slide.  Then we can have a few minutes of discussion after each presentation, capping each presentation+discussion at 10 minutes or so.  In that way we should be able to get through all of them in 2 hours.


Announced on 29 October 2014  5:38  a.m. by Edward Stuart Boyden

Midterms Thursday, 10/30! And then home work due 11/6.

1. Remember that this Thursday, 10/30, is our midterm presentations, using Joost's six-slide format!  Basically -- one slide for each of the bullet points of the 1-slide IdeaPitch, with more detail this time, and anticipating any questions that might arise.

2. Remember also that on 11/6 your second "homework" is due -- writing a critique of each of the others' midterm presentations, evaluating feasibility and impact.   We'll hold all the critiques confidential, but if you want to share your critique with a class member, feel free to do so yourself!


Announced on 27 October 2014  5:34  a.m. by Edward Stuart Boyden

Homework submission and format

Since we have to grade many assignments, please submit homeworks to us via email to, in PDF form (ideally), or if absolutely needed, in Word form.  All MIT affiliates can get Adobe Acrobat, for producing PDFs, for free at (and of course there are other free packages to do so). 

Please submit them by midnight tonight - thanks!


Announced on 18 September 2014  8:36  a.m. by Edward Stuart Boyden

Announcement: homework #1, interviews of engineers/scientists

1. If you have been having trouble getting in touch with professors, consider reaching out to postdocs or grad students -- they often have more flexible schedules (e.g., not having to teach at set times).  Last year, I think about 2/3 of the interviews ended up being with grad students and postdocs.

2. The investigators that you interview do not have to be at MIT.  Last year, I would estimate that 1/6 of the interviews were done by phone, to professors, postdocs, or grad students, at other institutions.

These announcements will appear on the "Class Home" page on Stellar, for future reference.


Announced on 16 September 2014  10:04  a.m. by Edward Stuart Boyden