The 3-month scipreneurial path

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I have been researching the topic of technology transfer and science-based venture building for several years. It is the moment to share back.

This article is marked as draft. It is not in its final form.

The idea: If I could send advice once per week to the myself of 5 years ago, what would it be.

The goal: After 3 months of shallow thinking (i.e. with little time-commitment), they should be able to decide by themselves if it's a path worth pursuing and what would it take.

The format: Build it as weekly e-mails to be sent on a Monday, so people have one week to work on the topics. Each message should have some context and some 'to-do'

The unique value proposition: No-BS. From someone who is walking the walk. Content tailored to scientists, mostly PhD's and Postdocs, smart people who have a specific world view.

Month 1

Week 1: Entrepreneurial Readiness

  • Why to become an entrepreneur
  • What it takes to be an entrepreneur: Personal traits, and challenges of starting a venture.
  • Self-assessment questionnaire: Personality, Resources, Network, Risk tolerance
    • Important: There is no right/wrong. If you know yourself, you will also know with whom to partner up. Two risk-intolerant people or two over-risk-takers are not the best match.

Week 2: Crafting the value proposition

Week 3: Who can be an entrepreneur

  • Effectuation theory (Suggested readings)
  • What resources do you have available now?
    • Money
    • Network <- Did you talk to the people last week?
    • Tools
    • Time <- You are already reading this e-mail!
  • What resources do you think you need?
    • Lab space
    • Money
    • People

Week 4: Competitive Landscape Analysis

  • SWOT (?)
    • Comparing to other solutions
    • But from the potential customer perspective!
  • Iterating on the value proposition

In October 2016, MIT announced creating a startup incubator called The Engine, which will provide funding,workspace, and access to equipment and experts to help them during the early stages of establishing a product or a business. The Engine has a straightforward application process that references the Heilmeier Catechism, created by George H. Heilmeier, former DARPA director, who established a set of questions to help the Agency evaluate these types of proposals [5]. _The Heilmeier Catechism: 1. What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon. 2. How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice? 3. What is new in your approach, and why do you think it will be successful? 4. Who cares? If you are successful, what difference will it make? 5. What are the risks? 6. How much will it cost? 7. How long will it take? 8. What are the mid-term and final “exams to check for success”? [@garcia-martinez2019Chemistry entrepreneurship]


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Aquiles Carattino
Aquiles Carattino
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