From Academia to Entrepreneur:

How to Start Your Own Company

Wednesday 19 September, 2012
12:30 - 1:30pm, $0

Columbia University, Hammer Health Sciences
701 West 168th Street, Room LL203

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Discussion with Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D, winner of the 2012 Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Emerging Postdoctoral Entrepreneur award and co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Science Exchange and with William Gunn, Ph.D., Head of Academic Outreach for Mendeley. They will discuss what made leaving academia to work on a startup as an attractive career choice to them. They will share the lessons they've learned along the way as well as the collective wisdom shared within Silicon Valley's thriving startup community. They will also talk about making the transition from academia, how to find the right opportunities, how to be competitive in the business world and tips for working with people from non-academic backgrounds including engineers and marketers. Dr. Iorns will also talk about the lessons she has learned from taking part in Y Combinator, a startup accelerator program (

Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D. is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Science Exchange, the online marketplace for science experiments. The mission of Science Exchange is to improve the efficiency of scientific research by making it easy for researchers to access resources and experimental expertise at any research institution. She has a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from the Institute of Cancer Research in London, and a Post Doctorate in Cancer Biology from the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine. Her research has focused on identifying mechanisms of breast cancer development and progression. Based on her own experiences as a young investigator seeking core facility capabilities and collaborations outside her home university, Dr. Iorns co-founded Science Exchange in 2011. She has received a range of honors, including the 2012 Kauffman Foundation Emerging Entrepreneur Award, the Expedition Inspiration Fund for Breast Cancer Research Young Investigator Award and is a graduate of the Y Combinator Summer 2011 program.

William Gunn, Ph.D. is the Head of Academic Outreach for Mendeley, the leading service for academics to collaborate and share research collections. Dr. Gunn attended Tulane University as a Louisiana Board of Regents Fellow, receiving his Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from the Center for Gene Therapy at Tulane University in 2008. His research involved dissecting the molecular mechanism of bone metastasis in multiple myeloma and resulted in a novel treatment approach employing mesenchymal stem cells, the body's own reparative forces. Frustrated with the inefficiencies of the modern research process, he left academia and established the biology program at Genalyte, a novel diagnostics start-up. From there, Dr. Gunn moved to Mendeley to pursue his mission of bringing modern network efficiencies to academic research.
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