working at the intersection of science, healthcare & entrepreneurship

High-impact experiential learning for outstanding liberal arts students from Minnesota’s private colleges and universities

Innovation Scholars offers a unique opportunity for multidisciplinary teams of outstanding liberal arts students to explore the interface of science, healthcare and medicine, economics, business, and entrepreneurship. Students work as a team to analyze real innovations in real time.

Led by graduate students, teams of undergraduates from Minnesota private colleges and universities research and recommend next steps for inventions and new products in development at Mayo Clinic and at biomedical companies affiliated with Medical Alley.



Orientations held with Mayo Project Managers and inventors or Medical Alley Company Contacts and CEOs. Hear from Mayo Clinic leaders or Medical Alley leaders and entrepreneurs.


Mix of virtual and in-person meetings held with Graduate Student Team Leaders, undergraduate students, and Campus Mentors as teams research and explore their projects.


Final team presentations to Project Managers at Mayo Clinic or Medical Alley companies.

group of business people

“The true educational value of the program is for the students. Learning to handle ambiguous situations, learning to work with colleagues from different disciplines, and learning how business and science are combined in the real world – these are the unique educational opportunities found only in the Innovation Scholars Program.”


SINCE 2006


Students engage with ideas and inventions in development and wrestle with the array of opportunities and challenges in tech transfer and commercialization of new products, including issues of bioethics and health equity. Hear from our alumni →


Exciting, emerging technologies in development at Mayo Clinic and companies affiliated with Medical Alley have been analyzed by Innovation Scholars. Team recommendations help shape the next steps in the technology transfer process. Learn more about our partners →


More than 50 faculty and staff from 14 Minnesota private colleges and universities support student teams. Find your college →

We are grateful for financial support from the Medtronic Foundation, the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, the Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation, the Offutt Family Foundation, and Mayo Clinic, and support from participating Medical Alley companies, Minnesota private colleges and universities, and the Minnesota Private College Council and Fund.