Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset
From the Pathways to Success June Symposium’s opening plenary by Emmanuel Giannelis, vice provost for research and vice president for technology transfer, intellectual property and research policy:
- Broad training makes you a better student and will help you in your career…it’s all about seizing opportunities–be open.
- Think about leadership, entrepreneurship, and tools you can use in any job; drawing from these examples will help you in an interview. Don’t focus narrowly on your research.
- Entrepreneurship is not just about starting a company. The process of customer discovery (what does your audience want/need?), problem identification (do you offer a different perspective? why would the world be better with your idea?), or formulating a value proposition (what exactly are you selling? how will it help others?) will make you a better academic, make you a better researcher at a big corporation, make you a better contributor to a non-profit organization.
- Don’t only talk to people in your field or across the hall from your workplace, but broaden your thinking by interacting with people from other disciplines.
- Failure is an important component in how we learn. Now’s the time to experiment!
- Literacy in other fields allow you to better communicate with others, gives you an advantage over other Ph.D. applicants. Employers prefer to hire individuals who have these broader experiences and skills.
From the Entrepreneurship at Cornell Celebration Event
From the keynote address by Pelin Thorogood, president and co-founder of Wholistic Research and Education Foundation and co-founder of Mana Artisan Botanics.
Advice to Ph.D.s
Seek as many non-traditional twists to the Ph.D. experience as possible. “I look for people who work between the lines, who don’t look to the rules.”
Tips and Takeaways
- Start with WHY.
- Understand your purpose and follow your true north (George, Bill: True North).
- Be a change agent.
- As Steve Blank says,”People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
- Know what you don’t know and focus on your strengths.
- Get ahead of trends by recognizing patterns.
- Identify real-world problems that you’re passionate about solving, and stay true to your purpose.
- Own up to your mistakes- immediately- address them directly, head on.
- When you start thinking about things, you start to notice things you didn’t see before.
- First bet on your team, then your product and market.
- Demonstrate leadership that promotes ownership.