The transition from academic to entrepreneur

Universities, by their very nature, have always been strong centres of innovation. Scientific discoveries are routinely made in university research labs – but spinning those discoveries out into an operational business comes with numerous hurdles.

Academics who go on to found companies based on their research have not just a steep learning curve to adapt to the new commercial environment, but also a wider shift in their mindset. The lab, after all, is a much different place than the market.

I spoke to a number of startup founders and investors for an article to learn more about what some of those things are that academics-turned-entrepreneurs have to deal with and navigate through to get their brainchild out of the university and into the real world. Getting up to speed with the business world, learning to choose the most viable path for your technology, getting used to the constraints of being a business that needs investment, and effectively communicating their technology are just among some of the things they need to reckon with.

Today I speak to my colleague Thierry Heles about some of the things that they told me.

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