Doctoral students – the company founders of tomorrow?

Alessandro Mazzetti introduced the SNI PhD students to the world of innovation. (Image: Mehdi Ramezani)

Before the SNI Annual Event began, Dr. Andreas Baumgartner, coordinator of the SNI PhD School, invited the SNI’s PhD students to an innovation workshop. Here, Dr. Alessandro Mazzetti from the Innovation Office of the University of Basel
introduced the young scientists to the world of innovation. He explained how academic work at the SNI can gradually progress from an invention into an
innovative product.

The workshop provided an overview of a broad range of entrepreneurial activities – from intellectual property issues and financing to how to make a successful “pitch,” in which a product is presented to a potential customer or investor. So successful was the workshop at infusing the doctoral students with the entrepreneurial spirit that some of them took part in the Innovation Office’s monthly “Entrepreneurs Club” shortly afterwards.

“I really enjoyed the workshop. It showed us how academic research at the University of Basel and the SNI can lead to the founding of new enterprises – and already has done. Alessandro encouraged us to take part in the Entrepreneurs Club, which was not only a thoroughly inspiring event but also an excellent opportunity to make contact with brand-new and already-established companies,” says Thomas Mortelmans, SNI PhD student.

Alessandro Mazzetti was also impressed by the SNI doctoral students’ interest in understanding the meaning of innovation and entrepreneurship – as a possible path to actually improve people’s life and solve the most pressing challenges for the future of human society: “Students were eager to get involved in the innovation ecosystem in Basel. They engaged in the workshop in a positive way, asking many questions & trying to understand what does it truly mean to be an “innovator” and an entrepreneur. I am really glad to be engaged, as part of the Innovation Office of the University of Basel, and to help these brilliant researchers to “cover the last mile” between their amazing discovery and the market/patient.”