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Motivation factors for scientific entrepreneurship

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A scientist can have incentives for starting a company (see: changing scientific incentives can help overcome stagnation), for example[@ianuzzi2017Entrepreneurship for Physicists]

  • Sense of accomplishment
    • Starting a company on one owns technology is a way of spreading its use and therefore its impact
  • Being different
  • Can be fun
  • Money

For young scientists, one strong motivation to start an entrepreneurial path is the lack of career alternatives. Again, pointing to an often poorly discussed topic of entrepreneurship for a PI is very different than for a PhD or postdoc.

The motivations can be divided into 3 categories[@lam2011What motivates academic scientists to engage in research commercialization: ‘Gold’, ‘ribbon’ or ‘puzzle’?]

  • Ribbon
    • Reputation/career rewards, which are in any case always pursued by researchers
  • Puzzle
    • Intrinsic satisfaction in solving complex problems, which is the most powerful.
  • Gold

There is no single-type of scientist. Most combine different types of motivations.


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