The Carlson School of Management’s Medical Industry Leadership Institute (MILI) has won the MBA Roundtable 2017 Innovator Award in recognition of its Medical Industry Valuation Lab.

The valuation lab is MILI’s signature course and represents interdisciplinary, experiential learning at its finest. It brings together students from across the University of Minnesota campus to work in cross-functional teams conducting rapid market assessments for new medical innovations, helping evaluate lifesaving ideas and streamlining the time to market for critical new products.

“This award is a testament to MILI’s unique position to shape teaching and leadership in the medical industry,” says Pinar Karaca-Mandic, the new director of MILI and an associate professor in the Finance Department. “Through the valuation lab, MILI provides an opportunity for the students’ academic toolbox to intersect with industry insights and applications.”

Since launching in 2008, the Medical Industry Valuation Lab has assessed more than 300 medical innovations for organizations that include Fortune 500 companies, hospitals, medical device manufacturers, startups, and nonprofits, as well as individual inventors.

Students in the valuation lab produce more than 30 analyses a year, gaining valuable hands-on experience, while clients get a top-to-bottom breakdown of their medical technology and its prospects in the market. This kind of mutual student-industry benefit is at the core of MILI’s mission.

“This fast-paced and challenging course is made possible because our students come well-prepared, with a strong grounding in business, engineering, and medicine provided by the University and the surrounding community,” says Michael Finch, a MILI executive in residence and the instructor of the Medical Industry Valuation Lab course since it launched.

“The success of MILI truly is a reflection of the many dynamic and productive collaborations that have been established across departments and beyond classroom walls.”

The valuation lab has also extended its reach to the global stage: Through a partnership with the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship and the Karolinska Institute, a Swedish medical school, MILI has created a two-week, cross-cultural lab in Sweden. It’s also replicated that model in Shanghai and the Bay Area, a hub of medical device innovation and the host of January’s Global Valuation Lab.

Through MILI, the Carlson MBA Program provides specialized training, knowledge, and experience in the medical industry to prepare students for leadership-track careers. The majority of students in the valuation lab come from the MBA programs (full-time and part-time), but there are also nursing, medicine, law, engineering, information technology, and other students thanks to memorandums of agreement with eight collegiate units at the University.

“When I started this endeavor 10 years ago, I suspected anything requiring eight deans’ signatures had to yield something good,” quips Stephen Parente, the Minnesota Insurance Industry Chair of Health Finance at the Carlson School, the former director of MILI, and the founding director of the valuation lab.

The MBA Roundtable is a collaborative, nonprofit organization that facilitates the exchange of information and resources on MBA curricular innovation. More than 150 business schools from across the world are members of the MBA Roundtable, which was founded in 1995. The MBA Roundtable Innovator Award Program was created in 2011 to recognize and promote innovative initiatives in MBA education and to acknowledge the institutions that are driving change in the field. For more information, visit MBA Roundtable’s website.