Scipreneurs/7-day-intro/7 - moving forward
If you managed to arrive to the 7th day of this crash course, you are a hard-core potential entrepreneur. Wellcome to the train which is about to depart!
Seriously, few people take time to focus on things they care about, without letting the rest of the world overrun them.
During the previous 6 days, we covered everything from motivation, to bouncing ideas, to identifying resources. We briefly covered jobs theory, and effectual reasoning.
I think it's fair to say we didn't actually cover them, I just threw the name to you so you can go online and search for them.
I hope this quick series of e-mails allowed you to have a taste for what it means being an entrepreneur. What kind of things you need to start thinking about, before deciding if it's a path worth committing to or not.
This crash course is also useful if you are joining a startup. I hope it allows you to understand the mindset of the founders and first employees.
In any case, the question is how to move forward with your plan of becoming an entrepreneur.
A traditional approach would be to join an incubator close to where you are. Some universities have in-house incubation programs. In my experience so far, no incubator really accommodates the needs of a PhD, Postdoc, or Professor.
The vast majority of the incubation programs around, assume you are out of the lab, working full time in your startup. They neglect that scientists are underpaid and don't have 20 years anymore. They still need to make ends meet.
Plus, let's face it. As a career move, starting your company is extremely risky.
If you find an incubator, check what the conditions are, and whether they have experience with technology transfer and with the domain you are in.
The first incubator I joined had only experience with software-based businesses. They may have been very good at them, but had no actionable insight, nor network, I could leverage to speed my own personal development.
Plus, they charged thousands of euros to join and wanted equity in the company.
In retrospect, all the red flags were in there, I was just not ready to identify them.
Remember that the selection process works both ways. Incubators select projects, but companies should select incubators as well. Don't rush the decision, be sure it's a good match between your expectations and the offer, or you'll be wasting a lot of precious time wandering in circles.
Depending a lot on the place where you find yourself, more and more universities, funding agencies, and state-backed organizations are offering programs for entrepreneurs. Instead of a traditional incubation, where everyone goes through the same topics, do their homework, and repeat the next day, programs are tailored to each participant's needs.
They pair founders and mentors, they offer guidance, and they open up their network (perhaps their most valuable asset).
Be aware that in many cases a development program is branded as an incubation process.
It's not a black and white distinction, but as soon as you check what they ask from you and what they offer in return, you will start noticing the patterns that emerge.
Join the Scipreneurs Journey
We are about to release an online, e-mail based, program tailored specifically for scientists. It's like the crash-course but more in depth, more interactive, and with a weekly cadence, so you have enough time to think and act, at your own pace.
Join the first global community of Scipreneurs
Alternatively, you can join the first global community of science-based entrepreneurs.
We aimed to gather people with different experiences, in different moments of their careers, and who have followed different approaches.
We are online-first, but as soon as we have enough critical mass, we will organize a series of face to face events to strengthen the links between the members.
We are invite-only, meaning that we carefully select participants based on their situation. We focus on PhD's, postdocs, and permanent scientists who want to (or have already) start a company, but we are open to everyone who has a science-based company.
If you are intrigued, want to join us, or want to learn more, just reply to this e-mail saying "I want to join the Scipreneurs community".
This is a farewell. I really wish you spare some time to give me feedback on the series of e-mails you received during the last week. Is there something you would have discussed more in-depth?
Do you think you'll pursue an entrepreneurial career? Tell me more about it, I'm very intrigued!
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