MIT Biotechnology Group

6-week Consulting Experience with MIT Consulting Club

Part-time, Apply by June 6, open to non-MIT

Every summer the Consulting Club at MIT (CCM) offers the opportunity for students and postdocs to participate in the Volunteer Consulting Group (VCG) program. Projects are described below. This is a great chance to work part-time on an interesting real-life business problem from a carefully selected company, to participate in a team project, and to gain valuable consulting experience for yourself and your resume! MIT VCG's Summer 2017 engagement will kick off with an in-depth consulting workshop led by industry representatives.

Starts June 19, runs 6 weeks:
First week of preparation (consulting/mini-MBA workshop and meeting with CEO of the company), then ~10 hours/week commitment for 5 weeks, including two weekly meetings, one with the team and one with the host company.

Application deadline is June 6 at 9pm, requiring an online form, a one page resume and a short (200 word maximum) personal statement.


Any student or postdoc in the Boston area is eligible. Preference to MIT students and postdocs, but members of institutions in the Boston area are encouraged to send in their applications, especially if you have been active with consulting clubs. Some experience is helpful, but not required. You will be coached by professional consultants in how to approach the case, and you will be mentored throughout the 6-week project by a team manager with more experience.

Additional questions:

– VCG Board Members


VCG Project 1: Deep Learning in Pathology

Deep learning is transforming many industries, and its application to healthcare is of special interest to a large number of people given the possibility of positive societal impact. Current medical diagnosis methods remain highly inefficient and unreliable for many diseases. Interestingly, the machine-learning approach has recently been shown to detect cancer and other critical pathological findings with greater accuracy and efficiency than the standard approach. The client is a local startup employing deep learning to build image recognition solutions for anatomical pathology in the clinical laboratory and in the research laboratory. Client’s solutions reduce errors, increase efficiency, and aim to match the right patient to the right treatment. As part of the VCG team, you will get the chance to analyze the current clinical market size, competitive pricing for client’s solutions, develop a short and long term economic model for the client, and identify competitors and/or potential partners. If you join the project, you will have the opportunity to gain experience working with a start up company that is offering deep learning solutions— unique and disruptive in healthcare. Also, the selected consultants will directly interact with the CEO founder and top management of the company, who are experts in business and technology.

VCG Project 2: Life Sciences Medical Device Project: Market Entry

Our client is a biotechnology company that is launching a first-in-class therapeutic that is designed to treat the physiological symptoms of hunger without surgery, other invasive procedures or systemically absorbed drugs. The product is expected to gain FDA approval within 1.5 years, and it is a highly engineered and proprietary patented hydrogel whose components are materials with the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) designation. This product potentially represents a breakthrough in material science and has been designed and finely tuned to act in specific ways throughout the gastrointestinal tract. They have called us to investigate the aesthetics market (e.g. plastic surgeons, aesthetic dermatologists, “medical spas”) as a go-to-market strategic option. The project will focus on the following areas of analysis: aesthetics market opportunity in the US, competitive landscape, physician economics and pricing strategy, packaging and distribution, any changes needed to be made to client’s clinical or commercial strategy if this alternative approach is chosen. Final recommendations to the client will include the benefits and risks of any pricing and market access strategies. If you come on board you will get the chance to work with experienced strategy consultant mentors as well as with an exciting client developing a potentially disruptive technology in the elusive obesity therapeutic space. You will also get the chance to present final recommendations to the full leadership team of the client company.

VCG Project 3: Agriculture – Payment Technologies and Risk Management

A handful of large companies dominate the agriculture sector today, and although each company focuses on products that improve plant microbiomes, they all try to do so in a way that complements their chemical, trait, germplasm, and fertilizer businesses. However, this client sees microbiome technologies as structurally disruptive, and something that will usher in a wholesale transformation of agriculture on a global scale. This client provides growers with proprietary seed treatments that improve the microbiome of plants, increasing farm yields and profitability, and provides agronomic insights through data-driven advice. Their proving ground is specific crops in specific geographies where yields are lowest, and where consequently, they can have the most impact. Uniquely, this company leverages applied data analytics in both local and global solutions within a business model that shares risk and reward by partnering with growers. The problem: Today, grain sales are settled in cash, and in local currencies, and our client takes on risk by getting paid in grain at the field level. For this project, our tasks are to: (1) Determine how emerging distributed ledger payment technologies can be leveraged to facilitate the settlement of grain sales in multiple geographies in a quick (time), efficient (fees) and low risk (currency, credit risk) manner; and (2) Develop strategies to free-up value through self-insurance and/or partnering with a reinsurance company to better assess risk. Among other investigative avenues, VCG will analyze the possibility of implementing blockchain technology to mitigate the client’s risk in partnering with growers who use their microbiomic technology. This client has experienced stratospheric growth since its recent founding — garnering hundreds of millions in seed funding — and now boasts an experienced leadership team with a rich consulting background. As a consultant on this project, you will work with a company poised to take on the biggest companies in agriculture.

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