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Be Relevant


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This is a talk given to rising undergrad chemistry seniors attending a summer REU program at UMass Amherst funded by NSF in 2010. The talk is designed to make students aware of the impact they can have on the world by pursuing commercial translation opportunities.

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Be Relevant

  1. 1. Students: Be Relevant! A completely irrelevant, but funny chemistry video to start this talk: Speaker: Humera Fasihuddin, NCIIA ( CURE REU Program 2010, NSF Integrated Sciences Center University of Massachusetts Amherst
  2. 2. Basic Research Translation t 20 years
  3. 3. Basic Research Translation: We need results sooner. t 20 years 10 Our nation’s competitiveness is at stake.
  4. 4. Population Growth % Growth (Population growth rate, as listed on [ CIA factbook]
  5. 5. Climate Change
  6. 6. Impact on all of Earth’s inhabitants
  7. 7. Population growth will have most pronounced impact on world’s poor
  8. 8. % Population Living on <$2/day
  9. 9. Health Care Costs Spiraling
  10. 10. Obesity Epidemic, just one example (common denominator to diabetes, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, kidney disease)
  11. 11. Big companies don’t have all the answers
  12. 12. U.S. economies, jobs & competitiveness at risk
  13. 13. Do something to help the world today.
  14. 14. Invention vs. Innovation (Wikipedia) • An invention is a new • The term innovation configuration, means a new way of composition of matter, doing something. It may device, or process. Some refer to incremental, inventions are based on radical, and pre-existing models or revolutionary changes in ideas. Other inventions thinking, products, are radical processes, or breakthroughs which organizations. A may extend the distinction is typically boundaries of human made between knowledge or invention, an idea made experience. manifest, and innovation, ideas applied successfully. 14
  15. 15. Invention vs. Innovation (Humera) • An invention is a new • The term innovation thing. means it actually changes the way people do things. “It don’t mean a thing unless it has impact.” 15
  16. 16. Where doesdoes research have relevance? Where your your research have relevance
  17. 17. Collegiate Innovators
  18. 18. Ecovative @ RPI Green replacement for polystyrene
  19. 19. Rotovirus Vaccine @ Johns Hopkins Vaccine on a ‘breathstrip’ enables developing world vaccination without refrigeration 19
  20. 20. Whole Tree @ Baylor Create green products commercial markets. Indirectly alleviating poverty amongst coconut farmers across globe.
  21. 21. Liquidia and Micell @ UNC Novel chemistry used for gene therapy, drug delivery & medical devices Faculty lead, but many graduate students on team.
  22. 22. Ablitech @ Southern Miss Polymers enabling targeted drug delivery direct to cancerous tissue.
  23. 23. Natalie and Jeff Agar @ Harvard and Brandeis Enabling 3D high-res imaging of in-tact tumor tissue using Mass Spec
  24. 24. Redwood Biosciences @ Berkeley Faculty lead, but many graduate students on team. Lighting up sugars surrounding cells still in the body, to deliver optimized novel biotherapies.
  25. 25. Advantages to Innovating in College Bootstrapped Existence: no mortgage, car loans, big student bills Access: laboratories, professors, world thinkers, conferences Market: closeness and understanding of Generation Y issues, ideals, interests 25
  26. 26. OK, I’m Convinced. What’s next. Market Pull Market Push • Look for problems you • Look for problems solved by want to solve your solution (or other’s) • Think of all possible ways • Develop an intellectual to solve that problem property strategy • Pick one and work on it • Develop an intellectual property strategy
  27. 27. OK, I’m Convinced. What’s next. • License to big company • Venture • License to startup – Play a central role – Play an advisory role The key, often times, is the Intellectual Property strategy.
  28. 28. Factors for Success If Graduate Track, value in If Job Market, cultivate venture cultivating venture skills. skills to be most valuable to Why? Attracting funding. Guiding hiring companies. students. Use your undergraduate years to How? cultivate venture skills. – Find supportive research How? advisor – Find off-the-shelf license or – Find supportive institution new venture opportunity – Cultivate relationship with tech – Build well-rounded team transfer, et al – Articulate proposition – Find good venture mentors – Raise funds – Attract best and well-rounded – Develop value team – Job, acquisition, learning, etc. …keep your eye’s open to market opportunities.
  29. 29. There are resources to help you… • On Campus • Off Campus – – Tech Transfer Office School of Management – SBIR/STTR – School of Law funding – Entrepreneurs in Residence – Angel Networks, Venture – Business Plan Competitions Capitalists – Seed Funds – Mentors and Advisors – Regional Technology Associations – State Funds – Other Campus Competitions – NCIIA (funds, workshops, competitions)
  30. 30. College Challenges NCIIA Resources • Money • NCIIA Grants $20K • Skills • NCIIA I2V Workshops • Experience – Advanced • Credibility – Introductory • Network • NCIIA Mentoring • NCIIA VentureWell 30
  31. 31. Innovate. 10 years t
  32. 32. Thank you. Q&A.