Back To Schedule
Saturday, November 8 • 11:00am - 11:30am
Founder Stories

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Innovation in academic research can come from inside as well as outside academia. Many successful companies were launched while the founders were graduate or even undergraduate students (Facebook, Google, WordPress -- to name a few). The default path for a student or faculty member with an idea is to publish their concept or write a grant. However, some academics who are inspired to build a ‘better mousetrap’ in their domain seek to create a company to support their idea as well as themselves. The goal of this session is to explore the how these ‘academic entrepreneurs’ founded and built their companies. Though a guided discussion, we will learn about: their background and experience prior to forming their company; what triggered their initial idea; why they chose a commercial approach; how they overcame the challenges they encountered while growing their company; and lessons learned as they grew their start-ups. Many members of academia are reflexively suspicious (or even downright hostile) towards the idea of a for-profit company serving academia. By directly addressing and discussing these tensions, we hope to break down barriers between the members of the academic ecosystem. We aim for the session to provide academics with a unique insight into the founding a companies which serve them, and nascent academic entrepreneurs with inspiration -- as well as a reality check about doing business with academia. We will invite members of the audience to interrogate, provoke and perhaps even commiserate with our panel members via a lively exchange of ideas.

avatar for Mark Hahnel

Mark Hahnel

Head, Figshare
#openscience #opendataBefore founding figshare I completed my PhD in stem cell biology at Imperial College London and previously studied genetics in both Newcastle and Leeds. I am passionate about open data and the potential it has to revolutionise the research community.
avatar for John Hammersley

John Hammersley

Co-founder and CEO, Overleaf
I've always been fascinated by science, space and exploration, and after completing a PhD in Mathematical Physics at Durham in 2008 I went on to help design and build the world's first driverless taxi system now operating at London's Heathrow Airport. It's an amazing project, and... Read More →

Stephen Leicht

Founder and Managing Director, UberReseaerch
Steve is a Managing Director and co-founder of ÜberResearch GmBH. He joins the company after a role as the acting CEO of 52apps Inc, a mobile software development company where he is a co-founder and investor. Prior to his role with 52apps, Steve was the Executive Vice President... Read More →

Saturday November 8, 2014 11:00am - 11:30am EST
Carolina Ballroom, Francis Marion Hotel 387 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403