Program Overview

The CKGSB-UC San Diego Joint Biotech Accelerator Unicorn Program is a pioneering course specifically designed to equip CEOs and founders in the life sciences and biotechnology industry with the essential knowledge and connections needed to thrive in this rapidly evolving sector.

Bridging the expertise of a faculty from the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) and the UC San Diego Rady School of Management, this program offers a curriculum combining biotech strategy, management, and a global perspective on the industry. Leveraging the success of our previous unicorn programs, our core mission is to arm you with the knowledge and connections necessary to drive growth and innovation, ultimately propelling you towards biotechnology unicorn status.



Uniquely geared towards CEOs and founders, the Biotech Accelerator Unicorn Program is designed to strengthen your leadership skills while keeping you at the forefront of the latest biotech developments and trends. You’ll acquire the skills to assess market potential meticulously, create strategic product launch and development plans, and confidently navigate the entire commercialization process. Additionally, you will attend industry visits and networking sessions, connecting you with biotech leaders and emerging start-ups.

Located in the thriving biotech hub of San Diego, you will also have a unique opportunity to interact with potential investors, expanding avenues for securing funding for your biotech venture.

The program gives you access to an exclusive network of industry professionals, bio-entrepreneurs, and seasoned investors, opening up endless possibilities for professional growth and career advancement.”

Program Highlights

Joint Collaboration and Comprehensive Learning:
The CKGSB-UC San Diego Biotech Unicorn Program is a distinctive collaboration between two renowned institutions: Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) and the UC San Diego Rady School of Management, along with partnership support from UC San Diego Extended Studies. Bringing together a distinguished faculty from both East and West, the program dives deep into the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities, ensuring a thorough understanding of the industry's academic and practical aspects.

Hands-on Experiences and Networking Opportunities:
Beyond theoretical knowledge, the program emphasizes real-world insights through industry visits, labs, startup interactions, and case studies. These hands-on experiences, with panel discussions and guest lectures, offer participants a holistic view of the biotech sector's real-world challenges and successes. Additionally, the program presents an invaluable opportunity to engage with a diverse cohort of peers, industry leaders, renowned faculty, and investors, fostering a dynamic environment for networking and collaboration.

Leadership, Ethics, and Future Readiness:
The program is designed with a forward-thinking approach and strongly emphasizes leadership and biotech management skills. Participants will delve into the ethical dimensions of biotech, navigating the sector's moral dilemmas and understanding the importance of responsible innovation. Furthermore, the program ensures participants are future-ready by exploring predictive trends, preparing them for the upcoming challenges and opportunities in the ever-evolving world of biotech.

Who should apply?

This program is exclusively tailored for the following individuals:

  • Board members, C-suite executives, and Founders who are ready to shape and redefine their organization’s biotech trajectory, driving innovation and growth.
  • Senior leaders with a strategic vision are committed to effectively integrating life science research into their organization’s business models.
  • Visionaries passionate about actively shaping the future of life science, going beyond being mere participants to becoming influential architects of this rapidly evolving field.
  • Investors who want to stay attuned to the next breakthrough technologies and capitalize on the latest mega-trend

Application Information

  • Location

    University of California, San Diego

  • Date

    September 9-13, 2024

  • Program Fee

    USD $9,250

    Includes tuition, cases, materials, site visits, breakfast, lunch, and a closing dinner.

    Early bird enrolment by March 31, 2024, receives 10% off the program fee. CKGSB alumni are also eligible for up to 20% off the program fee.

CKGSB Faculty Highlights
  • Bing Xiang
    Founding Dean, Professor of China Business and Globalization, CKGSB
    Dr. Xiang is a leading authority on China business. His insights on the innovations in China, the globalization of Chinese companies, China’s development models, global implications of China’s transformation and economic disruption have been widely acclaimed. He serves as an independent board member of a number of companies (including three Fortune Global 500 companies) listed in Hong Kong, Mainland China and the United States.
  • Hong Chen (Academic-Director)
    Associate Dean for Americas, Professor of Management Science, Director of Research Center for Clean Energy and Carbon Neutral Development, CKGSB
    Dr. Hong Chen is Professor of Management Science at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB). He is one of the founding faculty members of CKGSB and the director of the Clean Energy and Carbon Neutral Development Research Center. Prior to joining CKGSB, he held the positions of Alumni Professor of Supply Chain Management at the University of British Colombia Sauder School of Business, and Professor of Management Science at Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance. In recent years, his research has focused on clean energy and carbon-neutral development, particularly in the fields of investment, technology, and market opportunities in the entire hydrogen value chain. Dr. Hong Chen received his Ph.D. from Stanford University.
  • Sun Tianshu
    Visiting Professor of Information Systems, Director of the Center for Digital Transformation, CKGSB

    Advisor to the Chairman of Alibaba Group
    Tianshu’s research is focused on digital transformation, digital technology, digital platforms, and digital economy. Tianshu’s research, conducted in collaboration with leading private and public sector organizations, addresses how firms and governments can combine data analytics, field experiments, causal inference, machine learning, and economic models to improve business decisions and industry policies. His current research aims to understand 1) the technology, organizational and strategy factors that drive the successful digital transformation of enterprises and local economies, 2) how firms and government can facilitate and regulate the use of personal data in the digital economy; 3) how digital platforms can design data-driven interventions to influence social sharing; 4) how organizations can leverage mobile and internet-of-things to integrate E-commerce and offline retail.
  • Jon Liao
    Professor of Managerial Practice, Former Associate Dean, CKGSB


    Former Chief Strategy Officer of JD.com
    Jon Liao spearheaded JD’s strategic planning and execution, partnerships, investment, innovation and corporate branding and communications. Liao’s work was central to JD’s strategic transformation into a technology and service company with supply chain at its core. Liao has a profound background in academia and business. Previously, he was Associate Dean and professor of strategy and innovation at CKGSB. He has advised China’s top CEOs for years and currently serves on the board of Yonghui Superstores and Fantasia, among others. He has served as a board member for China Unicom.
UC San Diego Faculty Highlights
  • Lisa Ordóñez
    Dean, Stanley and Pauline Foster Endowed Chair, Professor of Management and Operations, UC San Diego
    Lisa Ordóñez is the Dean of the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego. She has had a distinguished academic career, with research interests in decision-making and ethical behavior, and has held multiple leadership roles in academic institutions prior to her current position.
  • Amy Nguyen-Chyung
    Assistant Teaching Professor, UC San Diego
    Amy Nguyen-Chyung is a notable figure at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), specifically within the Rady School of Management. Joining Rady in 2018, she took on the responsibility of instructing and developing the curriculum for the Lab-to-Market Workshop capstone, a signature course series at Rady where teams either launch new ventures or collaborate with existing organizations to address complex problems with innovative solutions. Besides her educational role, Amy serves as a Director at the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur, contributing to the Medtech Accelerator among other initiatives at the institute. Before her tenure at UCSD, she was an Assistant Professor of Strategy at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, showcasing her long-standing commitment to academic excellence and entrepreneurial education.
  • Kevin Zhu
    Professor of Innovation, Technology and Operations, UC San Diego
    Kevin Zhu is a distinguished academic at the Rady School of Management, University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where he holds the title of Professor of Innovation, Technology, and Operations. With a Ph.D. from Stanford University, his expertise lies in the realm of technology-enabled innovation, especially delving into next-generation information technologies like big data, AI, blockchain, and FinTech, and their adoption in the business landscape. His notable contributions extend to understanding the economic impacts of information technology, the integration of online and offline channels, and how new technologies foster innovation and competition in tech-centric industries as well as digitally transform traditional sector.
  • On Amir
    Wolfe Family Presidential Endowed Chair in Life Sciences Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Professor of Marketing, UC San Diego
    On Amir, holding the Wolfe Family Presidential Chair in Life Sciences Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), is a renowned figure in the academic and business realms. His journey, marked by a decade-long service as an air force pilot in the Israeli air force, honed his ability to maintain calm under pressure and fostered a love for challenges and continuous learning. Transitioning to academia, On Amir pursued research intersecting psychology, economics, and business, aiming to uncover effective market strategies. This academic endeavor has resulted in numerous publications, cementing his status within the scholarly community.
  • Richard Townsend
    Associate Professor of Finance, UC San Diego
    Richard Townsend, an esteemed Associate Professor of Finance at the University of California, San Diego's Rady School of Management, boasts a rich academic and professional trajectory, underlined by his profound insights into corporate finance, entrepreneurship, and corporate governance.
About the Organizers

Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business

Established in Beijing in November 2002, CKGSB is China’s first privately-funded, research-intensive and non-for-profit business school. The school aims to cultivate transformative business leaders with a global vision, sense of social responsibility, innovative mindset, and ability to lead with empathy and compassion. Today, CKGSB stands apart for its full-time, world-class faculty, research excellence, China insights and unparalleled alumni network. More than half of its 40 strong faculty members previously held tenure or senior professorships at top business schools, such as MIT, Wharton, and Yale. CKGSB is also the preferred choice for management education among established business leaders and a new generation of disruptors in China and the wider region. More than half of CKGSB’s 20,000 alumni are at the CEO or Chairman level and, collectively, they lead one fifth of China’s 100 most valuable brands.

CKGSB is the first business school in China, since 2015, and now globally to offer programs specifically designed for unicorn and soon-to-be-unicorn founders. It aims to build a global ecosystem for the next generation of unicorn and soon-to-be-unicorn companies, with a renewed and enhanced emphasis on global responsibility, social purpose and long-term perspective. Thus far, this ecosystem has developed more than 1,000 founders and co-founders of companies with Series A to more mature start-up companies, including 38 unicorn companies listed on CB Insights (2017-2022).

University of California San Diego (UC San Diego)

The University of California San Diego, founded in 1960, is a premier institution within the esteemed University of California system. Situated along the scenic coasts of La Jolla, it hosts over 40,000 students and a renowned faculty, several of whom have been honored with top awards such as Nobel Prizes and National Medals of Science. UC San Diego’s alumni community reflects its rigorous academic standards, with a plethora of leaders, pioneers, and visionaries spanning various sectors, many of whom have risen to influential roles as CEOs, Researchers, and Entrepreneurs. The university has been a nexus for innovative explorations and impactful research. Throughout its history, UC San Diego has consistently promoted global engagement and knowledge exchange, with a vast number of international students and scholars benefiting from its wide array of programs and interdisciplinary collaborations.

UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management and Extended Studies are leading the way in enhancing the vitality of the strong regional economy through educational excellence.

 

 

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