Purdue Foundry A Purdue Foundry official meets with Purdue researchers to discuss creating a business plan based on their intellectual property. Purdue Technology Centers and Purdue Foundry won the 2014 Incubator Network of the Year award from the National Business Incubation Association. (Purdue Research Foundation photo)

Pathways to the Market

Purdue grad students can now follow entrepreneurial track

Purdue graduate students interested in entrepreneurship can now enroll in the Entrepreneurial Graduate Track program to learn about what is needed to move innovations to the market.

Introduced in fall 2015, the program includes a series of two courses, workshops and provides access to numerous entrepreneurial resources at Purdue. It is jointly offered by the Krannert School of Management, Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and Purdue Foundry.

"There is a growing interest by graduate students across all disciplines at Purdue in moving their discoveries into the marketplace," says David Hummels, dean of the Krannert School. "The Entrepreneurship Graduate Track provides them with the knowledge and skills to develop a demand-driven commercialization path for their innovations.”

Of the 67 startups Purdue Foundry has worked with in the past two years, more than 40 percent have graduate students directly involved as a founder or co-founder or in a leadership position.

Highlights of the Entrepreneurial Graduate Track program include:

* Enrolling in a 500-level technology realization course and a 600-level entrepreneurial introductory course.

* Inviting a faculty director in the Deliberate Innovation for Faculty program or inviting a member of the Entrepreneurship Leadership Academy to serve on the candidate's PhD or master's thesis committee.

* Learning about the Purdue Foundry commercialization plan process.

* Gaining opportunities to use a fast-track technology license.

* Participating in semester workshops.         

The program also offers an opportunity for graduate students to be mentored by successful entrepreneurs and to network with potential investors.

"The program prepares entrepreneurially minded students for their future careers in academia, new ventures or technology-based companies," says Matthew Lynall, clinical associate professor of management and director of experiential learning in the Krannert School. "It also helps them to shape their graduate research and ensure its realization, whether through a startup or collaboration with established companies."

Greg Deason, Purdue Foundry executive director, says one of the aspects that makes Purdue's entrepreneurial track a strong opportunity for graduate students is that it gives them access to valuable resources such as the Graduate Entrepreneurship Club, which provides networking and educational events to advance student entrepreneurship.

"Students in the program also go through the LaunchBox process where they will study potential markets, customers and financial models needed for a startup," he says.

Story courtesy of Purdue Research Foundation