Careers Focus: Scientific entrepreneurship

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05 / 05 / 2020

As a scientist, the prospect of transitioning your research into a commercially successful product or service can be a new and exciting career opportunity. It can also mean exploring unfamiliar areas of work and implementing important steps to ensure you’re headed in the right direction. Here are a few things you might want to focus on when starting your business.

A great idea

Once you have identified an idea of research that serves an untapped need or want in the market, you will need to ensure you protect your intellectual property. Before doing so, some research into what is already on the market is essential. After the necessary research and once your idea has been transformed into a product or process, it’s important to take steps to patent it. This will provide you with exclusive rights, which is very attractive to investors.

Bear in mind, your idea or research may not be published but it might already be patented by someone else.

Two young women looking at a document

Funding

There are a variety of funding options available to new start-ups and innovative ideas. Competitions are a great way to gain funding and will also help you to gain experience in pitching for future investors. There are also various funding schemes such as the UK Government’s Innovate UK (gov.uk/apply-funding-innovation).

Build a team

Being surrounded by a good team can help you compensate for your weaknesses and compliment your strengths. Perhaps you need a commercial expert, someone to review your data or a mentor to strengthen your business proposal. Working with people you can trust to help build your business is important, and while you’re an expert in the science, it can be helpful to delegate business tasks.

With a great idea, the right resources and hard work you can find success as a science entrepreneur. The process of transitioning your research into a business may take time; however, the outcomes can be both economically rewarding and personally enriching.

Rachel Asiedu headshot
Rachel Asiedu

Professional Development Manager

r.asiedu@microbiologysociety.org

 


Thumbnail image: Oliver Le Moal/iStock.