The Center for Research in Biotechnology and the Technological Foundation of Costa Rica (FUNDATEC), both from the Technological Institute of Costa Rica (TEC), were selected for the development and execution of the “BioInnovation Program”, an initiative of the Costa Rican Coalition of Development Initiatives Association ( CINDE) and the National Learning Institute (INA), through scholarships from the Development Banking (Banca para el Desarrollo) system and administered by INA, in order to guide and
accompany entrepreneurs in their business ideas.
The selection of the beneficiaries oversaw the INA and CINDE and the main requirement was that each participant had a business idea, specifically ideas in the area of biomaterials. Specifically, the general objective was to strengthen the capacities and skills of entrepreneurs who have an idea with
development potential in the field of biomaterials or related areas, to support them to create innovations with application and interest for the market.
The program lasted 16 weeks, in which, each week, 2 hours of classes and 2 hours of mentoring were taught, both in the virtual modality, covering a variety of topics, among which we can mention the fundamentals of innovation and intellectual property, identification of problems and ideal solutions, root cause analysis, future materials, biodesign and biomimetics, resolution of current local problems, evaluation and market viability, prototyping and pretotyping in biodesign, business model, validation
processes, skills communication, financing strategies, development for sustainability and scaling, how to make a pitc, among others.
The instructors of the BioInnovation Program are employees of the School of Biology/CIB, the School of Chemistry and the School of Materials Science and Engineering; In addition, there were external collaborations to deepen the different topics.
The Bioinnovation Program had the participation of 25 entrepreneurs, each one of them awarded a scholarship with 95% of the total cost of the course, in addition, throughout the 16 weeks, they worked on the development of group strategies, in which the participants they developed business ideas
together, to be used as examples and as inputs for individual business ideas.
This type of initiative promotes a strategic approach between entrepreneurs and academia, supported by the government sector, to provide support and accompaniment with the objective that each idea can
be strengthened and enter the market and remain over time.