Meet the latest Harvard Business School Blavatnik Fellows: Ilana Springer Borkenstein

Photo Credit: Susan Young


With its spirited motto that “The science of today is the business of tomorrow,” the Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship at the Harvard Business School (HBS) recently named five new fellows.

Established in 2013 and supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation, the one-year program offers Harvard alumni and Harvard-affiliated postdoctoral researchers practical materials. The fellowship provides access to strategic resources to create new ventures around promising life science technologies while developing leadership talents.

Ilana Springer Borkenstein, one of the fellows for 2022-2023, will work with Harvard inventors and Harvard-affiliated hospitals to promote the commercialization of life science technologies with significant market potential.

Bio: Before HBS, Springer Borkenstein was a registered nurse on the Bone Marrow Transplant and COVID-19 units at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She also has experience at two early-stage health-tech startups, Elektra Health and Alula, and as a health care consultant at Deloitte. She earned her bachelor’s from the University of Pennsylvania in nursing and an MBA from HBS in 2022.

The innovation: Springer Borkenstein is working to address the critical nursing shortage in the U.S. through her company, M7 Health. As a Blavatnik fellow, she will focus on M7 Health’s product development and go-to-market strategy.

Looking ahead: Springer Borkenstein said, “The foundation’s support has allowed me to dedicate 100% of my time and attention to solving widespread problems facing the U.S. nursing workforce. The Blavatnik Fellowship provides access to a robust and unmatched ecosystem of support and health care expertise, which has accelerated the pace of the M7 Health team’s progress.”

What others are saying: “This year’s fellows launched their ventures as MBA students and start their fellowship year with the largest seed financing raised as a new cohort,” said Peter Barrett, Ph.D., faculty chair and leader of the Blavatnik Fellowship.

Spurring investment: Since 2013, Blavatnik fellows have created 30 companies, developing, among other things, a precision gene therapy, a respiratory dialysis device, a femtech device using genomics to enable women’s care, a biosensing wearable to prevent dehydration, and an oxygen sensor for personalized oncology care. They have collectively raised more than $485 million in funding and an additional $244 million from an IPO in June 2020.


Read more about the latest Blavatnik fellows: Matt Ross and Shardule Shah.