What our alumni are saying about STEP…
“I moved to Cleveland in 2007 and found that Northeast Ohio has many fruitful high-tech small businesses, as well as many state and city-funded initiatives that are effectively supporting tech-based innovation. After a short internship, I became the third full time employee of Phycal. Although my official title was Business Development Associate, I have done fundraising, competitive intelligence, accounting, grant writing & tracking, hiring, market, technology, and competitive analysis, conference attendance, and supply chain management for our pilot plant in Hawaii. I know that MBAs were competing for my position, but my technical background gave me a leg up, especially during grant writing and communicating with non-technical people outside the company. Currently I’m CEO of my own startup, and have raised a significant amount of capital in less than one year.”
– Jeff Bargiel, Physics Entrepreneurship ’09, Founder & CEO, EntoBio
“STEP transformed my outlook on the business world, and my career. The program’s roots in quantitative/scientific analysis provided a strong competitive advantage to colleagues with a traditional MBA – it honed the skills I needed to pivot an engineering and entrepreneurship background into a successful internship with a VC fund and kick start a career in management consulting with McKinsey & Co. My professional network grew as a result of the close ties between the program and Cleveland’s robust business community; ‘real life’ projects made the coursework more relevant. I would strongly encourage anyone interested in a career in business to explore the intersection of science, innovation, and entrepreneurship at Case.”
– Solomon Alkhasov, Physics Entrepreneurship ’14, Business Analyst at McKinsey & Co.
“A STEP degree is truly the best of both worlds: science and business. Since enrolling in the program, I’ve grown by leaps and bounds (personally and professionally). By combining a STEP education with a good work ethic, I’ve been able to generate several entrepreneurial opportunities for myself, in addition to multiple job offers.”
– Brett Hoover, Entrepreneurial Biotechnology ’10, VP of Sales and Marketing, ImageIQ, Inc. (A Cleveland Clinic Innovations Company)
“The personal connections I made through STEP, both internally and externally, are invaluable and would not have come about without the program; for example, I was able to have a wonderful, challenging grant-writing experience several years before many of my peers typically would. As a recent PhD graduate, I feel that I have a unique perspective- STEP provided a context in which I can understand the growing medical imaging community in Northeast Ohio, and more actively follow changes in the industry to which I aspire to be a part of. I believe the knowledge and experiences gained in STEP will have a profound impact on my career for years to come.”
– Lisa Bauer, PhD, CWRU Departments of Physics and Biomedical Engineering
Physics Entrepreneurship ’10
“The STEP faculty and program structure prepared me to seek out and succeed in my current career path. I truly appreciated the independence that allowed me to study in my area of choice and to capitalize on the real world opportunities extended to me. “
– Dan Blair, Director of Technical Services at ViZn Energy Systems, Inc.
Physics Entrepreneurship ’11
“I was able to cultivate my entrepreneurial spirit at Case, where I found a fast-learning, task and detail-oriented environment. With a solid scientific base influencing the approach to both instruction and scholarship, I was able to develop a set of skills that are broadly transferable. These skills, together with my ability to work with and through people, have translated into a broad range of capabilities within a wide array of applications. In particular, the aforementioned ability, coupled with a keen sense of organisation and a commitment to results were specifically developed through a close working relationship with Dr. Cyrus Taylor to whom I always will be eternally grateful. In all, it’s been a wild and exciting ride. I’ve spent significant time in the big cities, New York, Miami, London, but funny enough, I miss Cleveland the most. “
“STEP program taught me on everything to be successful in a small high tech based company, and bridging the gap between sciences and business, which was critical for me to land my job. But it was not until later in my career did I realize how valuable the program is, after seeing many scientists with brilliant technology struggling in running their own businesses. This is the program that will help you commercialize the novel ideas into the true innovation.”
– Yukang Zhao, Senior Manager, New Product Initiatives at Arteriocyte, Inc.
Entrepreneurial Biotechnology ’07
“STEP gave me access to leading minds in both science and business through a mix of class work, projects directly related to my start-up company (NeoMed Technologies), and guest speakers with real-world experience. Not only did I receive MBA-level classes in Finance, Accounting, Marketing, and Technology Strategy, but also met Entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists, Professional Service Providers, and Institutional Leaders. I also had access to world-class medical researchers at University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic. Through the program, I also was connected with a mentor who gave sound advice and eventually joined the Board of Directors of my Start-up.”
– Marc Umeno, PhD, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft
Physics Entrepreneurship ’02
“The classroom focus on methodologies–and their practical application through live case studies–has equipped me with a wide variety of tools and techniques to conduct technology feasibility analysis to licensing deals. Faculty members are a wealth of knowledge and open minded. In addition, the program has helped me develop interpersonal skills necessary to communicate, negotiate, and engage in team problem solving in the management of projects and personnel. If you are somebody who is passionate about science as well as business, if you want to work hard to be “YOURSELF”, STEP is right for you.”
– Neeti Maan, Business Development Associate TheraVasc Inc
Entrepreneurial Biotechnology ’11
“The STEP program has provided me with a set of skills that allows me to act as the business liaison to the technical guys and the technical liaison to the business folks – which is extremely valuable. I am very happy with the skills and knowledge that I have developed through the STEP program and experience I received as an intern at a high tech start-up.”
– James Knight, Phycal Inc.
Chemistry Entrepreneurship ’11
“The STEP program truly offers a perfect blend of science and business principles. Coming from purely a biotechnology background, the program helped me nurture and develop my entrepreneurial spirit. The course is designed in a manner that the STEP students become a part of the ever flourishing entrepreneurial culture of the Northeast Ohio region. With an internship at Thermalin Diabetes LLC and BioEnterprise I was able to create a wide range of entrepreneurial opportunities for myself that improved my understanding for real-world situations.”
– Chandra Umapathy, Emerging Technologies Manager, Porex, Inc
Entrepreneurial Biotechnology ’11
“STEP has been central and instrumental to my career transition from research science to commercializing science. Not only were the experienced lecturers and the program’s close ties to bio-entrepreneurial activity in Cleveland key factors in accelerating my transition, but the curriculum also instilled solid fundamentals of entrepreneurial strategy and a “just-do-it” mindset that I rely upon every day. Finally, Case’s amazing cadre of cutting-edge scientific leaders coupled with the open and collaborative research culture at Case form an extremely valuable resource for a technology entrepreneur that should last for a lifetime. If you are a self-starting scientific researcher looking for a career change, this program can help you achieve it, as it did for me.”
– JT Tan, Research & Commercialization Associate, Teraphysics Corp.
Entrepreneurial Biotechnology ’11
“It’s no secret that STEP is one of the best entrepreneurship programs offered across the nation that had 100% employment in 2010. The program curriculum is designed to tie business and innovation with Biotechnology, Physics and Chemistry that allows internship opportunities during the coursework. The program has personally brought the best in me in terms of enhancing skills and knowledge around bio entrepreneurship. I enjoyed engagement with Northeast Ohio`s regional business through guest lectures, events and networking opportunities.”
– Kalpita Mehta, JumpStart, Inc.,
Entrepreneurial Biotechnology ’10