The more than 48,000 postdoctoral researchers at United States institutions are at the forefront of new discoveries, but few have an opportunity to develop the entrepreneurial skills necessary to move their innovations from the lab to the market. With the aim of cultivating entrepreneurs from among the postdoctoral community, the Kauffman Foundation's Entrepreneur Postdoctoral Fellows program educates and trains scientist-founders who will create the high-growth technology companies of tomorrow.
Thirteen of the nation's top scientific postdoctoral researchers have been selected to participate in the 2009-10 fellowship program to learn how to evaluate their research for commercial potential and the process to take promising research forward to commercialization. Each Fellow has a business mentor, a customized internship experience and intensive entrepreneurship workshops at the Kauffman Foundation, where they have the opportunity to network and learn from each other and from entrepreneurship experts.
"The critical role that scientists play in our economy is compromised because faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers do not have a base level understanding of the commercialization process," said Lesa Mitchell, vice president of the Kauffman Foundation's Advancing Innovation initiative. "This Fellowship will propel selected researchers to recognize and advance their own innovations, which also will bring enormous benefits to society."
By focusing on a subset of postdocs with entrepreneurial aspirations, the Foundation’s Postdoctoral Fellowship empowers postdoctoral researchers to take their ideas forward.