Written by Samantha Costanzo Carleton
Colleagues and friends had often remarked on Raman Saggu’s entrepreneurial streak, but she didn’t give those comments much thought until a chance encounter at a friend’s birthday party.
Up until then, she had focused solely on an academic career. A British neuroscientist with a D.Phil. in Medical Sciences from the University of Oxford, Saggu specializes in ultra high-field neuroimaging of models of stroke, cerebral malaria, vascular dementia, healthy aging, and Alzheimer’s. She set up the most powerful MRI scanner available in Germany, developed her own neuroimaging and analysis methods, and identified novel bioimaging markers in search of more targeted treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. Venturing into entrepreneurship had hardly crossed her mind.
At the birthday party, though, Saggu found herself seated next to an impressive female entrepreneur who told her about the MIT-Harvard Medical School Healthcare Innovation Bootcamp. If there was ever a place to dive into the world of startups, Saggu reasoned, this one sounded perfect.
“I hoped to have a crash course in entrepreneurship that would give me a realistic experience of this world that was new to me,” she said. “I understood that if I was going to dip my toe into the water, I needed a robust and intensive program that I could trust would give me a reliable indication of whether or not this was something I had potential in.”