- Data Science & Software Development
- E-Learning & Instructional Design
- K-12 Education
- Patent Law
- Research Administration
- Science and Medical Writing
- Science Outreach
- Science Policy
- Technology Commercialization
- University Administration
What it is
To start your own business, no matter what you have in mind, will require you to become an entrepreneur. You will craft a business model, identify partners and stakeholders, analyze the market for the product or service you want to sell, probably write a business plan, probably borrow money or find funding somehow, definitely create the product or service, build a website, reach out to customers and start selling it.
Anyone can become an entrepreneur given appropriately scaled plans. The best start is to identify a problem that causes people pain, annoyance, or inconvenience. You imagine a solution and research what others have done about it. A safer starting point might be to join someone else’s startup and build experience and relationships from there.
You may advance straight to the bottom: about half of all startups fail. The other extreme is fantastic success. Most successful startups fall somewhere in between. There is no career choice more unpredictable than entrepreneurship.
All PhDs can theoretically become entrepreneurs no matter what their discipline. If your studies gave rise to your business idea, super. But your idea could be completely unrelated to your discipline, coming from some other area of your life.
Personality and outlook
To be entrepreneurial is to be the sort of person who likes to take initiative, solve problems, and create things from scratch. You must be daring, ambitious, risk-tolerant, and either extremely outgoing––or partner with someone who is. You do not need to be greedy, “salesy,” or any other negative stereotypes sometimes associated with entrepreneurs. Integrity, honesty and consideration are assets in business.
Take classes in business. Get involved in entrepreneur clubs on or off campus. Conduct informational interviews of local entrepreneurs. Find problems and imagine how a business could help solve them. Identify businesses that are trying to do the same. Read everything you can about your chosen problem. Take inventory of your assets including financial assets; research how to get what you need but don’t have.