Research and Entrepreneurship, Lessons learned and anecdotes
By Denis Avrilionis
24 October 2013
Doctoral School, University of Luxembourg
A common stereotype is that research and entrepreneurship are two incompatible endeavors, a cliche often used by young researchers. For some of them, the mental transition from research to entrepreneurship seems like a radical step, and they are not prepared to explore the business potential of research ideas. This is often amplified by the ambition of graduate students in pursuing an academic career, and by actions that support their entry into traditional academic or research institutes. Failure to enter the academia is often perceived as major setback in the career of young PhDs.
In this talk I will argue that young researchers should *not* consider entrepreneurship as a route that allows them to recover from failure in entering the academia. By mixing elements of personal experience with anecdotes from the history of entrepreneurship, I hope I will be able to demonstrate that a young researcher can have a true chance to explore and exploit business opportunities that can emerge from research ideas. In particular, the skills acquired in the course of Ph.D. (analysis and synthesis capabilities, clearly expressing ideas orally and on paper, perseverance to goals, etc) can be truly precious when creating and running a new business. The business potential of research ideas can be so strong that it may catalyze the metamorphosis of traditional industries and the birth of new ones, as exemplified in the recent years by the successes of technology giants such as Google.
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