Motivation factors for scientific entrepreneurship
A scientist can have incentives for starting a company (see: changing scientific incentives can help overcome stagnation), for example[@ianuzzi2017Entrepreneurship for Physicists]
- Sense of accomplishment
- Starting a company on one owns technology is a way of spreading its use and therefore its impact
- Being different
- Having a company can be a distinctive asset in a CV. Even with egoistic scientific incentives, starting a company can be useful
- Can be fun
- It is possible to earn money, although very challenging. That is why entrepreneurship for a PI is very different than for a PhD or postdoc
- Without money involved, probably no one would start a company, but the chances of actually earning money are minute.
For young scientists, one strong motivation to start an entrepreneurial path is the lack of career alternatives. Again, pointing to an often poorly discussed topic of entrepreneurship for a PI is very different than for a PhD or postdoc.
The motivations can be divided into 3 categories[@lam2011What motivates academic scientists to engage in research commercialization: ‘Gold’, ‘ribbon’ or ‘puzzle’?]
- Reputation/career rewards, which are in any case always pursued by researchers
- Intrinsic satisfaction in solving complex problems, which is the most powerful.
- Financial reward, which is not prioritized by most scientists, and relates to equity for scientists starting companies.
There is no single-type of scientist. Most combine different types of motivations.
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