Fall 2019 Graduate Courses


Charles R Hallford
Sharlini Sankaran
M 3:05 PM – 5:35 PM

The New Ventures Clinic – Healthcare is an opportunity for students to work on commercialization plans for technologies developed at Duke University, in particular in the areas of therapeutics (pharmaceuticals), diagnostics, and medical devices. In most cases, the students will work to define a plan for a start-up that would license the technology from Duke, but other strategies are also possible (e.g., not-for-profit).

The technologies chosen will have been screened by the Office of Licensing and Ventures, so they will all be determined to have commercial potential. The project teams will work in close collaboration with OLV. Student teams will be assigned one technology to work on. They will have access to the scientist or inventor of the technology, and will also work with an academic and a business mentor. Teams will be interdisciplinary and students will gather and analyze data, develop recommendations, formulate implementation plans, and provide other capacity-building support to clients. Students will work on teams that have relevant business and technical backgrounds. Student teams will follow a structured process to develop a strategy and plan for the venture.

I&E 590.05 Special Topics: HACKING FOR DEFENSE
I&E 590.06 Special Topics: HACKING FOR DEFENSE (Online)

Thomas Sowers
Steven McClelland
W 4:55 PM – 7:30 PM

Hacking for Defense, a course designed for senior undergraduates and graduate level students in all schools and programs, takes an entrepreneurial, interdisciplinary approach to America’s hardest national security challenges. The complexity of these challenges demands a transformative effort that requires multi-faceted teams comprised of students from the schools of foreign service, policy, law, continuing studies, medicine, and business. We need and want policy professionals, makers and mechanical engineers, systems engineers, computer scientists, biomedical and public health professionals, entrepreneurs, physicists, scientists, and everyone between to be part of this unique effort. This is a modern renaissance class – it covers policy, economics, technology, national security, and whatever else you need to learn to solve your problem sponsor’s pain points. You will be at the forefront of changing the paradigm of problem-solving and solution development for the U.S. Government. The course is demanding: you’ll present at every class, you’ll work closely with your team, you’ll receive relentlessly direct feedback, your problem sponsors, mentors, military liaisons, corporate partners, investors, and journalists may be in the room, but, you’ll be solving real problems for real customers, in real time.


Joseph Allen Knight
Eric Richardson
Paul Fearis
Anne-Marie Makhulu
W 6:15 PM – 8:45 PM

The course guides students through the process of human-centered design with the goal of developing a solution to a real-world, unmet need in healthcare. Students will learn to: 1) identify unmet, underserved and unarticulated needs using human-centered qualitative contextual primary research methods such as ethnographic research; 2) apply commercial business criteria in order to select viable business opportunities; 3) use creative and research-based processes to generate and/or identify potential solutions; and 4) document their design process in accordance with regulations. The course blends taught content with practical field application and team-based project execution.


Aaron P Dinin
W 12:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Before pursuing a venture – and committing resources to it – it’s important to understand whether or not an opportunity exists and whether that opportunity aligns with a person’s personal and/or professional goals. New Ventures 1 helps students do this first by asking them to clearly to define their personal and professional goals. Are they trying to build a company? Are they trying to cure a disease? Are they trying to write a book? Are they trying to fix a societal problem? So long as there’s a clear entrepreneurial objective, the process for assessing whether an opportunity is worth pursuing is similar regardless of the industry or topic.

Once students understand their goals, New Ventures 1 teaches them strategies for answering key questions to help evaluate the potential for success. Instead of jumping directly into problem solving and solution development – which can often be wasteful without a clear understanding of a given market – New Ventures 1 focuses students on research, exploration, and discovery. It forces students to set aside pre-conceived notions and do the critical work of collecting data about a market and learning to assess it objectively.


Jon Fjeld
M 3:05 PM – 5:15 PM

Students develop full operating plans for a new venture, including a finance plan; detail will be suitable for a business plan document for a company seeking initial investment; plan should be fundable upon completion; teams follow a structured process in doing their analysis and making recommendations; students work with faculty advisors and business mentors.