Starting a business based on your PhD research can be a challenging and rewarding experience. It allows you to apply your knowledge and skills to solve real-world problems and make a positive impact. However, it can also be difficult to balance the demands of a PhD and starting a business.
One of the keys to success is to communicate with your advisor and university to ensure that your business venture does not interfere with your academic progress. You should also take steps to protect your research and ideas, such as filing for a patent or signing a non-disclosure agreement. Consulting with legal and intellectual property experts can also help you ensure that your ideas are properly protected.
The University of Surrey in the UK provides a wide range of resources, networks, and support for students interested in starting a business based on their research. The Surrey Business School’s Entrepreneurship Centre provides resources, mentoring, and support, while the Surrey Technology Centre offers services to help researchers commercialize their technology. The Research and Innovation Services also offer support for commercialization, including advice on intellectual property, funding and business development.
It’s also important to conduct thorough market research and assess the potential demand for your product or service. Identifying your target market, key competitors and evaluating the potential scalability and profitability of your business is crucial to determine the viability of your business and make informed decisions.
Starting a business during or after your PhD, can also provide valuable skills, such as entrepreneurship, marketing, and financial management, that can be useful in any career path. It can also increase your employability and provide the opportunity to be your own boss. Additionally, starting a business can potentially lead to financial gain, such as increased income and the potential for equity in the company.
However, starting a business can be risky and challenging, and it’s important to keep in mind that it requires a lot of time, effort and resources. Additionally, it’s essential to consider the ethical and legal issues related to the use and commercialization of the research, particularly if it involves human subjects or proprietary data.
In conclusion, starting a business based on your PhD research can be a challenging and rewarding experience. It allows you to apply your knowledge and skills to solve real-world problems, gain valuable skills, and make a positive impact. However, it’s important to balance the demands of a PhD and starting a business and to seek out the resources, networks, and support that are available to you. The University of Surrey in the UK provides a wide range of resources and support for students interested in starting a business based on their research, but it’s important to conduct thorough market research and consider the ethical and legal issues related to the use and commercialization of the research.
Reach out to Dr Geoffrey Knott, PhD Accelerator Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org), who can guide you towards available support resources, exciting opportunities, events, and resources that can help you commercialise your research and make a lasting impact.