Harvard Business School announced Tuesday its inaugural class of Blavatnik Fellows in Life Science Entrepreneurship—five alumni who have been awarded $95,000 each to work with the University’s research labs to bolster the commercialization of life-changing life science-oriented technologies.

The Fellowship Program was made possible thanks to a $50 million gift from the Blavatnik Family Foundation granted earlier this year. Moving forward, three to seven individuals will be welcomed annually into the program, following a competitive application process.

Harvard Business School Professor Vicki Sato, former president of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, will be directing the Blavatnik Fellows Program. Based out of the Harvard Innovation Lab, the program will focus on advancing revolutionary therapies, vaccines, diagnostics, devices and digital technologies in biomedicine.

The five inaugural Blavatnik Fellows are all alumni who graduated from Harvard Business School less than seven years ago. They include: Ross Leimberg, an associate at Locust Walk Partners; Daniel Oliver, founder of Intelligent Mobility International; Steven Porter, a former management consultant for Bain & Company; John Strenkowski, co-founder of Novametics; and Ridhi Tariyal, who most recently served as a senior project manager at the Broad Institute.

Blavatnik Fellows will receive a $95,000 stipend for a 12-month period, as well as additional funding for activities such as market research, due diligence and licensing options. Each will work with inventors, as well as Harvard’s Office of Technology Development to determine the best route for the commercialization of a product.

Boston-area executives, entrepreneurs, scientists and attorneys will serve as mentors for the program and fellows will be encouraged to secure funding and, where appropriate, join and develop founding teams of new ventures.

“Harvard is situated in the midst of the world’s top talent in biomedical and other sciences,” said Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria in a statement. “These Fellows will help turn innovative ideas into new ventures that will have a significant impact on the well-being of people in Boston and around the globe.”

Full biographies on the Blavatnik Fellows can be found here.

Featured Photo Courtesy of Shepley Bullfinch