From Problem to prototype

Iowa Medical Innovation Group (IMIG) is a two-semester interdisciplinary program that  introduces you to all phases of medical device/technology development. Students from the colleges of Business, Engineering, Law, and Medicine collaborate in a real-world environment to identify a medical need, create a solution, and move it through the development and commercialization process.


  • Develop knowledge of the entire medical innovation process
  • Research and develop novel medical devices, therapy, or model of care that could lead to the creation of a new company or a licensing agreement with an existing company


  • Complete assigned initial needs assignment over the summer
  • Attend all scheduled lectures, weekly team meetings, and monthly mentoring meetings
  • Complete the device design, initial commercialization plan, and capstone presentations

How it works

Request for Problems

Each spring, a “Request for Problems” is distributed throughout the UI medical community to seek out possible projects for IMIG. During the summer, IMIG students conduct a needs assessment on the top problems submitted to determine market potential, current competition, and overall potential. In August, UI faculty work with the University of Iowa Research Foundation to develop a finalized list for the students to choose from.


Weekly meetings are held on Wednesday nights from September through April. The basic schedule is as follows: Week 1: All IMIG meeting to discuss projects/issues; Week 2: All IMIG meeting with guest speakers and networking time (this meeting is open to the external community); and Weeks 3 and 4: IMIG student team meetings to work on the projects


Monthly mentoring will be provided to teams by UIHC physicians, industry experts, and UI faculty.

Capstone Presentations

A presentation summarizing the team’s new device and business/commercialization plan will be given during Engineering Senior Design Week and to the faculty and industry mentors.


Iowa JPEC sponsors several elevator pitch and business plan competitions throughout the year. Additionally, Iowa JPEC will submit top concepts to national business plan competitions. IMIG teams will have the opportunity to compete and win funding to support their commercialization projects.

Next Steps

Students interested in participating in IMIG should contact their faculty leads indicated by college below.

College of Business

College of Engineering

College of Law

College of Medicine