PIPETTE TO PALLET: A JOURNEY FROM ACADEMIA TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP
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Philosophers, politicians, and scientists alike have long understood that knowledge and technological advancement play a significant, dynamic role in the wealth of nations. Subsequently, a thirst for innovation is at the forefront of many political, societal, and philosophical agendas. Academic research has been identified as a primary source of innovation1–6 and prodigious funding has supported this commonly held belief. One of the most direct methods for translating academic innovation into economic growth is by commercializing academic research. 1–3 This process, known as technology transfer and commercialization, has gained traction over recent years by researchers, institutions, and entrepreneurs due to increased exposure of academic commercialization successes. One study found that over a ten year period, the number of annual executed licenses and number of startups launched has doubled. 1 Despite this growth in research licenses and academic grounded startups, there are still two hurdles that inhibit many would-be scientist-entrepreneurs from making the jump from the lab bench to the board room: a lack of resources, and a lack of knowledge of the process to make the jump. Developing methodologies that support scientist entrepreneurs and demolishing the stigma of technology transfer that still inhabits some pockets of academia is critical for the efficient dissemination of knowledge from the laboratory to society. This paper contributes to existing literature on technology transfer by distilling pertinent information regarding the benefits of technology transfer and highlighting personal experiences to create a framework in which to approach technology commercialization. This framework, presented as roadmap to commercialization could be employed by academics as they embark on their own technology commercialization endeavor. Additionally, the framework could be useful for academic institutions interested in increasing their commercialization output by streamlining their technology commercialization process.