Career Path: "From Academia to Entrepreneur: How to Start Your Own Company"
Description: Discussion with Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D, winner of the 2012 Ewing Marion
Kauffman Foundation Emerging Postdoctoral Entrepreneur award and
co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Science Exchange and with
William Gunn, Ph.D., Head of Academic Outreach for Mendeley. They will
discuss what made leaving academia to work on a startup as an attractive
career choice to them. They will share the lessons they’ve learned
along the way as well as the collective wisdom shared within Silicon
Valley’s thriving startup community. They will also talk about making
the transition from academia, how to find the right opportunities, how
to be competitive in the business world and tips for working with people
from non-academic backgrounds including engineers and marketers. Dr.
Iorns will also talk about the lessons she has learned from taking part
in Y Combinator, a startup accelerator program (www.ycombinator.com).
Bio: Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D. is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of
Science Exchange, the online marketplace for science experiments. The
mission of Science Exchange is to improve the efficiency of scientific
research by making it easy for researchers to access resources and
experimental expertise at any research institution. She has a Ph.D. in
Cancer Biology from the Institute of Cancer Research in London, and a
Post Doctorate in Cancer Biology from the University of Miami’s Miller
School of Medicine. Her research has focused on identifying mechanisms
of breast cancer development and progression. Based on her own
experiences as a young investigator seeking core facility capabilities
and collaborations outside her home university, Dr. Iorns co-founded
Science Exchange in 2011. She has received a range of honors, including
the 2012 Kauffman Foundation Emerging Entrepreneur Award, the Expedition
Inspiration Fund for Breast Cancer Research Young Investigator Award
and is a graduate of the Y Combinator Summer 2011 program.
William Gunn, Ph.D. is the Head of Academic Outreach for Mendeley, the
leading service for academics to collaborate and share research
collections. Dr. Gunn attended Tulane University as a Louisiana Board of
Regents Fellow, receiving his Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from the
Center for Gene Therapy at Tulane University in 2008. His research
involved dissecting the molecular mechanism of bone metastasis in
multiple myeloma and resulted in a novel treatment approach employing
mesenchymal stem cells, the body's own reparative forces. Frustrated
with the inefficiencies of the modern research process, he left academia
and established the biology program at Genalyte, a novel diagnostics
start-up. From there, Dr. Gunn moved to Mendeley to pursue his mission
of bringing modern network efficiencies to academic research.