Screen Shot 2023-05-31 at 10.51.19 AM

SUD Ventures

Fueling the next generation of innovation in substance use disorder

Jan. 13, 2025 - Jan. 17, 2025

According to the CDC, one in seven adults in the United States will experience a substance use disorder (SUD) during their lifetime. If you live in the US, you likely know of a friend, family member, or colleague who has been affected by SUD. At the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Ventures program, our goal is to fuel the next generation of innovation in this space.

SUD Ventures is an intense and immersive hybrid program. Consisting of live expert webinars, online courses, and culminating in a five day Bootcamp at MIT, our goal is to spark the creation of innovative biomedical ventures in the SUD space, a notoriously challenging problem area.

During the program, you will work with a team of exceptional and diverse individuals including SUD researchers, engineers, and entrepreneurs. Together, you will work on one of the following key focus areas: SUD Treatment and incarceration, drug delivery and success, SUD in vulnerable population, or another topic of your choice.

You’ll receive advice from entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts and leaders working in this space. You’ll be immersed in the dynamic and high-energy environment unique to MIT Bootcamps and walk away with a community of innovators and a support system.

Understand the unique challenges of the substance use disorder space

Understand the unique challenges of the substance use disorder space

Identify the most salient opportunities for impact

Dive into case studies that dissect the challenges and opportunities in the SUD space. Learn how to navigate the complex system with practical advice and lessons from entrepreneurs and translate research into innovative health applications all while practicing MIT’s innovation toolkit.

Connect with co-founders, mentors, and industry experts

Connect with co-founders, mentors, and industry experts

Learn from MIT’s top innovation, entrepreneurship, and health experts

You’ll be exposed to an ecosystem of diverse backgrounds: engineering, entrepreneurship, SUD research, policy, and more. You’ll work with motivated, exceptional individuals with commitment to bring change to the space. All of your work will be focused on challenges rooted in key focus areas.

Launch a venture with peers you meet at the program

Launch a venture with peers you meet at the program

Walk away with an innovation toolkit and system of support to take the next step

Your cohort peers, coaches, investors, experts, and the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s team will support the ultimate creation of a new venture, or the acceleration of an existing one, with new knowledge and connections from the program.

“Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is a multidisciplinary challenge with huge personal and societal impacts — this is about saving lives.” – Cynthia Breazeal, Dean for Digital Learning at MIT and Professor, MIT Media Lab

What to expect

This program is selective, but we are looking for individuals with multidisciplinary backgrounds to join the program. If selected, you’ll be placed into small teams and work together in one of the following areas: SUD Treatment and incarceration, drug delivery and success, SUD in vulnerable population, or another topic of your choice.

Program Description Image
  • > Who is this program for?

    • Researchers (PhD, postdoc, faculty) who would like to study the craft of technology commercialization, especially those with inventions and technologies relevant for substance use disorders
    • Engineers and data scientists (especially mechanical, electrical, and software) who would like to work on a diverse team and contribute their expertise to developing a novel biomedical device or digital application
    • Doctors and nurses who would like to study entrepreneurship, build a diverse network, and apply their expertise
    • Business professionals with passion for the problem and desire to build a diverse technical and clinical network
    • Graduate students with relevant skills and passion for the problem as well as demonstrated interest in the biomedical field
    • Investigative journalists interested in the space of SUD
    • Entrepreneurs already working in the space of SUD or considering entering this space. Social entrepreneurs encouraged to apply.
    • Public policy experts and thought leaders

    • Teams will work on problems related to one of the following areas:
      • SUD Treatment and incarceration
      • Drug delivery and success
      • SUD in vulnerable populations
      • Wild Card (any topic of your choice, not included in the above options)

  • Each team will have a designated coach, a seasoned, MIT-trained entrepreneur, who will push you and your team toward success at the Bootcamp.

  • On the final day of the program, you’ll pitch to a panel of judges, including local investors, entrepreneurs, and instructors, and receive guidance on how to submit for SBIR grants from program officers.

  • Upon successful completion of the program, you will receive a certificate from MIT Bootcamps. After the program, you'll join our amazing network of MIT Bootcampers in SUD, get exclusive access to content, and meet even more people to build your venture with.

  • SUD researchers, who are accepted, will have their participation fully covered by NIH, including tuition, travel to Cambridge, MA and accommodation in while at the program.

    Other selected participants get free access to the program, but will be expected to cover the costs of meals and program expenses. This will be a flat fee and communicated with you during your admissions process. In addition, they will be expect to cover their travel to, and accommodation during the program.

Admissions

How to Apply

Admissions

Our admissions team will review applicants in two stages. The first stage includes a resume submission and short video interview in which you will record your answers to a set of questions. If selected to move to the second stage, we will coordinate a live video interview with one of our team members. We expect the application process to be very competitive, especially due to the small size of the cohort.

Round 1 closes July 15, 2024. After Round 1 closes, we will review candidates on a rolling basis until the cohort is full.

Location

Online & Cambridge, MA

Build rich connections with fellow entrepreneurs, enhance your network, and take advantage of being in-person at MIT.

Bootcamp Dates

Online Fall 2024 & In-person January 13 - 17, 2025

A hybrid program consisting of online courses and webinars during Fall 2024 and an immersive five day in-person program on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus and the Boston startup ecosystem.

Tuition

$0 USD

SUD researchers who are accepted will have their participation fully covered by NIH, including tuition, travel to Cambridge, MA and accommodation in while at the program.

Non-SUD researchers, who are accepted, will get free access to the program, but will have some expenses to cover. Please see our FAQ about 'What's covered?' above for more information.

Program Community

Intent on building a community of domain expert entrepreneurs, the SUD Ventures program brings together innovators to solve acute problems in the substance use space. The goal is to nurture the community of innovators brought together by this program, enabling them to bring their ventures to life and create meaningful impact to society. Hear about how the program has impacted learners and their ventures.

“This MIT Bootcamp shook everything upside down and has given me the spirit of innovation and what it looks like to be able to work in a big way, and to be able to think in an even bigger way.” -Melissa “Dr. Mo” Dittberner
Smit Patel
SUD Ventures '24
Smit Patel Digital Health Strategist

"One of the things MIT Bootcamps does really well is bring multiple disciplines to innovate together. We have seen a lot of silo innovation happening [in health care]. We have also seen problems being solved in piecemeal. How can we come together as a collective force — clinician and entrepreneur, a technologist, someone who has gone through this experience themselves — to build a solution?"