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Increasing Entrepreneurship Among Graduate Physics Students. Prof. T. Venkatesan National University of Singapore and Neocera, Inc . APS Workshop on Physics Graduate Education, College Park Jan. 30-Feb.1, 2008. Early Stage Career Planning for Students. Helping students identify their

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increasing entrepreneurship among graduate physics students

Increasing Entrepreneurship Among Graduate Physics Students

Prof. T. Venkatesan

National University of Singapore

and

Neocera, Inc.

APS Workshop on Physics Graduate Education, College Park

Jan. 30-Feb.1, 2008

early stage career planning for students
Early Stage Career Planning for Students

Helping students identify their

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Areas to which they are inherently attracted to
  • Eliminating areas that do not match with their interest or skills
  • Eventually narrowing their target zone so that they can develop a focused strategy
  • In this process identify candidates who have potential for entrepreneurship
reasons why having entrepreneurial faculty is key
Reasons why having Entrepreneurial Faculty is Key

“For a young person to become an entrepreneur a change in their mind set is needed, and this can be provided by their immediate environment”

Case study: Prof. Venkatesan Group

Total Number of PhDs: 24

Career choices after PhD

  • Academia: 8
  • Industrial and National Labs Research:8
  • Entrepreneurs:8

Close to one thirds became entrepreneurs!

The Professor as a role model is the most effective catalyst

Other recent examples: Amnon Yariv (Caltech), John Woolam (Nebraska), Steve Forrest (Princeton/ Michigan)…….

entrepreneurs from venkatesan group
Entrepreneurs from Venkatesan Group

Entrepreneurs:

  • Xindi Wu-CEO, C-Nanofibers, Inc. ( Also VP Biz Dev Sicive, Cable-wireless, Exodus Comm)
  • Chris Doughty-CEO, Varionix, Inc.
  • RD Vispute, CEO, Blue Wave Semiconductors
  • Vitaly Talyanski-CTO, Stardust Technologies
  • Arun Inam-Partner-Signal Lake Ventures (Also VP Biz Dev Motorola)
  • Barun Deb Datta-CTO, Alta-Berkeley Ventures
  • Zoran Trajanovic-Mckenzie Consultants, headed different high tech startups
  • Zhiyun Chen-Pixelligent Technologies
  • Andreas Walkenhorst- Own Patent Law Firm in Germany

Industry Leaders:

  • Sining Mao, VP for Research, Western Digital
  • Santanu Bhattacharya, Director of AOL’s India Research
physics dept key steps to take
Physics Dept: Key Steps to Take
  • Need Entrepreneurial Faculty members
  • A Department must have at least two members who have
    • a) Experience in starting companies
    • b) Sustaining the company over some period of time
    • c) Raising capital
    • d) Have outstanding University Research programs
in the absence of such faculty members
In the absence of such Faculty members
  • Have as adjunct faculty the following:
    • a) Successful entrepreneurial Physicists with good research track record
    • b) Research managers in corporations who oversee intrapreneurial activities within the corporation
    • c) Part time faculty from other schools who have been successful entrepreneurs
    • d) They must be able to setup an exciting research program in the department
changes to departmental courses
Changes to Departmental Courses
  • Seminars by entrepreneurs-personal experience
  • Business 101 course taught by an entrepreneurial faculty

Capital formation

Structuring a venture

Business model

Intellectual property

Understanding P&L, Balance sheet

Understanding SBIRS, BAA and other govt. funding sources….

  • Engineering course on design and basic manufacturing
  • Globalization and its economic implications

It is important that these course content be reviewed by an entrepreneur

managing conflict of interest
Managing Conflict of Interest
  • Have a COI team consisting of:
    • Department Chairs,
    • Dean,
    • Asst to President
  • Create a transparent interaction with the entrepreneurial faculty
  • Each case must be carefully recorded and the actions documented for future reference
summary
SUMMARY
  • Get on board entrepreneurial faculty
  • Establish early career counseling
  • Establish a few Business and engineering based courses
  • Expose students to entrepreneurs-real world
  • Effectively manage COI, actively and not reactively
  • Highlight success stories