How to Join the Quantum Workforce? – Technology Transfer

How to Join the Quantum Workforce? – Technology Transfer

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- Good afternoon everyone. Thank you all for joining us for this sixth panel in the Professional Development series on how to join the Quantum Workforce. My name is Florian Carle.

I am the Manager of the Yale Quantum Institutes, and I'll be the moderator for this webinar. We created this series to share information on careers in the field of quantum science and information for attendees to learn from students, researcher in the fields what it's like to work in quantum science, to get advice on navigating the various pathways, and to make educated choices for the future. As you might know, building quantum technology requires a lot of people with different backgrounds. You're gonna need physicists, electrical engineers, computer scientists, software engineer, chemist, and it can be a little bit overwhelming to consider a career in quantum science and information. We already explored in the past many topics and levels like how to prepare for college for high schoolers, how to prepare for grad school for college students, prepare for faculty position for postdoctoral students and senior grad students, and also how to prepare for jobs in startups and industry.

All these panels are available in the link that I'm gonna put in the chat right now and you'll be able to watch all of this in replay if you want. For YouTube, it will be in the description below. So this afternoon, the panel will focus on technology transfer and we will give you some of the tools and pointers to bring research and discoveries from the lab to the real world with application and commercialization. This event is hosted by the Yale Quantum Institutes and cosponsored by Quantum CT, which is a public-private partnership accelerating the adoption of quantum technology in Connecticut by nurturing and innovative ecosystem, training a new workforce, and identifying ways research and development can inspire communities and help companies across all sectors. Earlier this month, we hosted Y Quantum 2024, which was a 24 hour quantum hackathon where students from all over the world and Connecticut met on the Yale campus to solve coding challenges provided by industry partners.

This hackathon led to creative ideas which could potentially lead to a commercial venture, and this is why today we have the pleasure of welcoming three panelists who were in that seat trying to transfer at the heart of technology, some technology to companies and to bring the ideas out of the lab and to the public. And we also want to provide you a structure for new entrepreneurs to succeed. Please help me welcome Larron Burrows, Oliver Gilman, and Kassie Tucker. Thank you all for joining us this afternoon, and so I've talked enough already, and so feel free to introduce yourself and tell us a little bit more about your venture. We're gonna start by Larron, do you want to start? - Awesome. Hello everyone. Thanks for joining us. I'm Larron Burrows, I'm a chemical engineering PhD student at UConn University of Connecticut.

And prior to starting my PhD, I was a engineer in the real world as a biomass power plant engineer. I had that job in California for a while and I enjoyed it. It was pretty exciting, but I left to do a PhD because I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and I know you may say, why do a PhD if you wanna be an entrepreneur? It's because as chemical engineering, it's pretty difficult to do hard tech in your garage. And so the PhD allows you a good opportunity to get lab space and expertise to start a venture really. So right now I have a startup called Andres that I'm pretty excited about and working with the university to do some tech transfer stuff. So I'm happy to join this panel and take some questions later on.

- Thank you so much. Oliver, do you want to introduce yourself? - Sure. Hi everyone, my name's Oliver Gilman. I'm a senior at UConn studying communications and entrepreneurship. I'm from Connecticut, born and raised, and as someone who loves nature, I've always had a really strong passion for sustainability.

I have a manufacturing background, so prior to working with Particle N, I was able to create and hold a sustainability role with my family company who's in plastics manufacturing. I worked with Particle N for the majority of my senior year and it was a fantastic experience. We're a nanotechnology startup that aims to reduce the cost of green hydrogen, and in my time there, I was able to pitch to investors, lead our company relations, and really try to build a story around the technology that we're working on.

So yeah, definitely excited to be here, and I hope by the ends of the panel that you guys in the audience feel inspired to dive into the world of quantum science and entrepreneurship. - Thank you so much. And last but not least, we have Kassie Tucker. - Hi everyone. Thanks so much for having me. I'm so excited to hear from Larron and Oliver and learn about their experiences. My name is Kassie Tucker, I'm Senior Managing Director of the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale.

Our mission is to inspire students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to seek innovative solutions to solve real world problems. In short, we support student innovators and entrepreneurs by providing them programming, funding, mentorship, and probably most importantly, community. Prior to joining Yale, I worked up at MIT supporting graduate engineers and management students, many of which are entrepreneurial and nature. - All right, perfect. Thank you very much.

So for people attending, now that we've heard from our panelists, you might be wondering why we picked these panelists and like how the work they are doing is related to Quantum Workforce. Actually designing new chemical processes like Larron is doing or new materials like Oliver used to do and molecules or drug development is a crucial driver of human progress. And doing that in the laboratory alone is very slow and difficult. And so we want to simulate this in classical computer, but it's really difficult due to the complexity of the molecule because the chemical bond between all of these materials and molecules is basically a quantum phenomenon.

And so one of the future possible application and one of the first that would be the easiest to implement is to use quantum computer to accurately simulate the new molecule catalyzer chemical processes to help us better understand the process and maybe creating new materials like batteries or like different type of processes that we use and usually that are using a lot of energy, and a lot of green gas emission. And so the issue is that coding on this machine is very different from coding on classical computers. And so we'll need a very large workforce that is capable of understanding this technology, but also the subtlety of the application to make sure that you truly understand how these applications work and how you can transfer them into quantum computation or this kind of application. So I'm gonna kickstart the conversation with a few questions to your panelists, and in the meantime, feel free to use the the Q&A feature in the bottom of your screen to ask question and we'll take this question first. So first question, why are you interested in entrepreneurship? Like what is the reason that brought you to build a company or like join a company that will transfer that as opposed to just working in the lab? So maybe that's a question for Larron and Oliver maybe in particular, whoever wants to kickstart that. - Well, I can get started on that one.

So for me, the drive really is climate-related. So there's a few technologies that already exist that can solve a lot of the problems with fossil fuels and the way we live today, but it requires some very young and passionate entrepreneurs to go there and give them the old college try to commercialize it. And so it's really a high effort thing to do and it was one of the things that I wanted to do whilst I still had the opportunity to do it. And so that's the big drive, which is can we first develop the technologies and then provide the energy required to commercialize technology in a very difficult industry. And so that was the drive to for me to start it at least. - Yeah, and I definitely agree with Larron.

I've always had this passion for trying to help the environment, and that's really where my involvement in trying to be part of Particle N started from. Also both of my parents are small business owners. Kind of runs in my blood, my great-grandfather started a company 125 years ago that's still being run today by my dad and my uncle.

So it's in my blood and yeah, I mean, as opposed to going to work for someone else and work for another company, you can have a really high growth and high impact business doing it yourself. - Oh, that's a really good point. And actually, so it seems to be growing in your family. How does one start if you don't have a family? What is the process? Can you run us through the process of like, how do you go from an idea to commercialization? Because I assume you don't wake up one day being like, okay, I have a company. Like what are the the essential steps that people should think about when they want to do this kind of action? - It's complex and I think referring to what you said when you opened, it takes a unique combination of people and different skill sets in order to bring something to the world.

I study communications, I'm not a scientist, but it's people that have to work together in these different disciplines to really bring something out. - So is there a structure that can help? Like how does one decide? Like I think once you have your drive, once you identify your ideas, what could be a process or like one idea or like one structure that helps you or that can help people to sort of like concretize this complex venture? - That's a good question. I think the structures can definitely look different depending on what you're trying to build. But I kind of just go back to, yeah, you need to have a team and people behind you that can help you build this up. - I can jump in on that.

So for me it really was beneficial to go through a PhD because you have the opportunity to take a deep dive into an industry or a problem. In my case it was a production problem which you then learn about the industry having a very large global warming problem. And the structure there was really saying, okay, well for ammonia as a commodity, it's a chemical that a lot of people use in different markets. How do you now produce a green or cleaner ammonia process? And once you can, what can you do to bring that to market? And in my case, bring it to market would be mostly just getting the economics low enough for it to be adopted in a commodity market.

So we're still in the process of commercializing, but I think in the idea of just figuring out what is necessary to bring it to market, a lot of customer discovery and talking to the people within the market net or industry and help you understand how do you go from an idea to an actual company and what that company may look like. My company may look like I just build reactors and I sell it to people who make ammonia plants, or maybe I make the ammonia plant and then I sell the ammonia. So there's a lot of thinking that you have to do even once you identify an idea. And I think customer discovery and a lot of of research and study can help you get a path that you can go to market with.

- And speaking of market research and all of this structure, Kassie, do you have any advice on like who to talk to and how to do that kind of groundwork before? Because I know that from the UConn side or the Yale side I'm pretty sure anywhere in the US, there's structure that can help you to do that. Do you have any advice for us? - Yes, you're exactly right. So the innovation and entrepreneurship higher ed ecosystem has really blossomed over the past, I would say 15 years. So a lot of universities such as UConn, such as Yale, have dedicated centers or initiatives that are just targeted to help student entrepreneurs. So when you're talking about the pathways or the steps from going from idea to commercialization, those folks are great resources for educational opportunities, mentorship, network expansion, and funding, which is important when you're trying to do MVPs and things like that.

Beyond your campus, there are other organizations that are really wonderful and excited to support, especially STEM entrepreneurs. VentureWell is a great organization that many of the resources can be accessed remotely. Again, they offer educational support for both researchers, faculty, and students, which is a wonderful community. Again, talking about the village of, oops, sorry, dog. Village it takes to commercialize an idea. They have funding, they have mentorship, all those wonderful things.

And of course there's the National Science Foundation's I-Corp program, all over the nation, I know Yale specifically is a part of the northeast I-Corp program. - And so is UConn as well. - So does UConn as well. Wonderful, wonderful.

Of course they are. And there's great resources, again, education about the entrepreneurial process, funding, and then resources like networks and things that are really helpful when you're starting to go to industry. - And to give a little bit more context about I-Corp, there's the Northeast hubs for people who are local to us that has a series of rounds of ideas. So you can come in, pitch some ideas, and there's some fundings that is associated with the different steps. I'm putting that into the chat so people can have a look and then learn more about the kind of activities that the I-Corps hub can help because you can go with an idea and then help building onto thisif that's helpful. But I do think mentoring is probably one of the best ways to succeed because bouncing this idea with someone could be something helpful.

Oliver or Larron, did you find a mentor to help you, or do you have a relationship, like a professional relationships with somewhere that was helpful to you? - Yeah, if you want to commercialize, it definitely is gonna take a big network of people, and we've been so lucky to have amazing mentors and they come from all sorts of places. It could be the UConn School of Business, it could be UConn TCS, Technology Commercialization Services, or it could be you meet someone when you go out and pitch that ends up being a really meaningful mentor in your journey. And looping a little bit back to the last question, we chose to take the path of manufacturing our own nano powder. And sometimes, you could take the technology and sell it to a larger company, but in that sort of gritty path we chose to take, there's been great mentors from Uconn, and even outside that, pitch competitions.

- For me, I would take a different spin on this. Yes, I've had a lot of mentors on this, but also there's a little bit of education that you have to do before a mentor becomes very, very helpful for you. And you can get mentored from basically books and the authors of certain books. And if I can, I would say like a book like "The Disciplined Entrepreneurship," "Lean Startup," "Zero to One," "Startup Owner's Manual" by Steve Blank. If you were well versed in these books, you're probably going to be more useful to a mentor and you can know which questions exactly you want to ask to a mentor where they can help you with.

I have people who have been mentors who are somebody who's been in the agricultural startup realm before, somebody who's been in the venture realm before, someone who's been in the investor space or previous founders and exiting a few companies. But each one of them, they play kind of a different role as I'm looking for them to ask and answer certain things, where there's more expertise. But the real foundation of the mentorship comes from that education of these books where so much knowledge is provided by these great authors that you could really get a good foundation even if you're not able to access a network like VentureWell or the others right now. - I see you like agree strongly on this. Is there any other resource that people should be aware of before they reach out to someone? Because I think when you develop a new idea or new project, something that happened is that Google cannot help you anymore.

Like you cannot ask the question and then get the answer because you're really at the cutting edge of things that human knowledge is not there anymore. And so finding someone and say like, Hey, what's the answer to that question? And they don't know anymore. And so I think it's building a relationship and trying to like help each other. Is there any other resources that could be helpful? - I was nodding furiously to the book list that Larron was sharing because those are always on my nightstand and are my go-to recommendations as well. Especially when you're talking about like what is the pathway for entrepreneurs, "The Disciplined Entrepreneurship" by Bill Aulet specifically has a map within it which gives you the basic roadmap.

It it changes for every entrepreneur and Bill references, there's lots of loopy loops within that journey. But definitely talking about that. One of the things that I often talk about with founders, especially tech founders in particular, there is a hesitancy to share their ideas because they're cutting edge and there's a sense of someone might steal my idea or I'll lose my competitive edge when the reality is there's probably 200 other people within the state that have the same idea, right? And what you're losing by not sharing that idea is the opportunity to get buy-in from a key stakeholder who can advance your idea at the right time for your venture.

So my advice is be an open book, talk to everybody, in an elevator, you better elevator pitch. Don't be afraid to talk about every idea. They don't have to be scientists, they don't have to be a technologist because they may not have the exact skillset or knowledge or resource that you need at that time, but they probably know somebody who does.

And humans, in my opinion, are good, naturally good. So they want to help you and would be excited to make those connections. So when in doubt, talk about your idea, don't be stingy. - Yeah, that's a good point. And also I think there's something really good about talking to people who don't know anything is that you are forced to explain in a very simple way your ideas, and you will also find like a better understanding I think if you can make it in simple term and explain very difficult a concept like catalysis or doing some chemical process.

I think it's something that's very valuable, and maybe there's a rich uncle somewhere or aunt somewhere that can like be your first investing angel. So we're talking about the roadmap of this, is there, I know depending on the type of company that you want to build or the type of idea you want to commercialize and transfer and make it available for the public. Is there any key roles that you should always have no matter what the type of job is? Like I'm thinking like accounting, like I'm thinking maybe so like chief operator, who are the key factor or like the key role or like the key task. Do you have general ideas of that to help us a little bit? Like we need to meet with people and have a team, who will be the key player of a team? Any of you can try to figure out, we can brainstorm together. Like what would be the ideal team for a general tech transfer? - It's such a fun question. I mean, based on my experience, there's always gonna be the founder who has created the technology and labored over that.

And then you need a business executive overseeing that path to commercialization, what that's actually gonna look like. And then there was me who was pitching, communicating. It's hard to tell someone about something so impactful, but they don't know what it is.

And I think each person on a team should always have the ability to pitch, like even just a quick 60 second elevator pitch because you have to be able to communicate what you're doing and even the accountant on the team should be able to do elevator pitch. But yeah, I would definitely say you need, as you get along, accountant, sales, marketing, you'll need all that stuff. But we were definitely wearing many hats at Particle N. - I'll say for me as a person still building a team and looking to expand, as the founder, you essentially look for positions that you feel like, okay, I'm not as confident in this and I definitely need an expert to do this well.

I don't need to learn how to, I don't need to get a CPA to try to do my own accounting. I need to get a person to do that. I don't need to learn as much as I need to for it. Especially additionally with the legal part of it, there's certain things that you should say, as a founder, I'm definitely not going to start from zero on learning a new skill.

I need to hire this in, especially if this is something that's recurring. Sometimes you can outsource a lot of the early stages of the business, but you definitely want to start bringing people on with skill sets that you definitely don't have. And then also with skill sets that compliment you as you build out your team. So more R&D, more business development people to assist with commercializing the idea as well. - I'll just add to that and say it's not only the skill sets that you don't have, but it's also the skill sets for the things that you do know how to do, but you don't have time to do it because you're too busy focusing on this really important thing as CEO, founder, whatever your role should be.

So that's something to think about. The other thing, I have a different approach perhaps like it's not a one size fit all model for teams. Teams need different people at different stages. So my advice is always thinking about the objective this year, three years, five years, what are the skills you need to meet those objectives? And then going through the rubric, do I have those skills? Yes. Okay, do I have time to do that job? No, all right, let's hire someone for that.

The other piece of advice that I often hear and I agree with is hire slow, fire fast. You spend a lot of time with the early stage team together, so you need to make sure that you have a shared vision and shared value set so that when things are hard, you're all aligned in making decisions together that are going to move the venture forward in a positive direction. - If I could just add to that, I really agree with that.

And if you are gonna be a student entrepreneur and founder, you have to start thinking like that CEO to say, yes, I can code, for example, but is this the highest value use of my time right now? Me coding the full software or me doing the experiments. And I think for me it's gonna be a while until I touch a test tube again, but that I'm gonna have to accept that knowing that I'm going to be the CEO who hires competent people to do that part of the job. So I just wanted to add that as a perspective from the student. - That's a very interesting point. The idea of like touching a test tube and like doing the actual research that led to the idea or the project.

How do you cope in this shift of job? Because you've been trained as someone who likes to do all the experiments and then you're gonna suddenly not do that anymore. Is that something you're happy with? Was it a nice change or is it a surprise halfway through? Like how do you deal with this? - Well my quick analogy is it's like if you're driving in a car with somebody else and you feel like, oh, I wouldn't have took in that terminal, I would've dodged that pothole, right? You have to remember that you're gonna get to the destination, you're not gonna drive, or they're not gonna drive like you're gonna drive, but you're going to get to the destination. And so if somebody comes in, they are a little bit different in the way they handle chemicals, so long as it's safe, you know that we're gonna get to the destination. And so you can't really nitpick and micromanage them to essentially be a carbon copy of you because I think you're gonna just get a headache in trying to do that.

So long as we meet the milestones and get to the destination, I'm okay with it. And I think student entrepreneurs, technical should be able to be okay with that. - So you talk about milestone.

Is there a way of figuring out... How do you set up this milestone in a way that you can move your company forward without making unachievable goals and then crashing and burning on this? Like how do you scale things? Because for software, it could be maybe pretty easy, you can just be one person coding or like a handful of people coding. But like for this big new technology, you need a lot of people in labs, you need a lot of people doing production and maybe there's factory settings.

How do you establish establish a roadmap like this? Is there any advice you can give people interested in doing this kind of transfer? - I would say, this is something I think about a lot as I'm trying to do it as well, but a lot of the advice that I've been given and from all of my activities in this space, you have to kind of decide what is the most critical milestone with your technology. And so if you give an example of you have a reaction in a test tube, maybe the reaction is at 20% efficiency and is at a test tube, right? You have two levers there. Do you increase the efficiency in the test tube or do we scale up the test tube and keep the 10% efficiency? VCs and investors would be interested in different levels of which lever you pull, for example, they may be more interested in you just getting the scale and knowing that once you get the scale, you can improve efficiency later on by just hiring some very smart chemists and people from MIT and Yale, et cetera to do that level of work as well as UConn.

So it's which one do you decide to really make the milestones around, but you should also try to pair it with your investment level and then your team as well. So if you know that building a plant, for example, if I build a plant that's gonna require multimillions in dollars and probably a team of 50 people with other contractors, that's probably not the milestone for day one. Maybe the milestone for day one is we increase the size of the reactor, we demonstrate that reactor with somebody who is interested in purchasing ammonia, we slowly and very cautiously scale the technology because you don't want to crash and burn. And hard tech is hard and it's gonna be difficult, but you can do some things to reduce your risk of failure, which is just being more smart with your milestones and how you scale your technology out of the lab.

- And with limited resources, I mean you're totally right, it's about picking a number, a small number of milestones you want to focus on and just executing. I know at Particle N, we were pretty much setting pretty big ambitious goals and they weren't always being met and I think we all took a step back at some point and said, "Hey, like let's break it down and break it down to steps." And you can't always predict things two, three, four years ahead, but you can definitely come together as a team, and like Larron said, just really focus in on a few key things. - Okay, thank you very much.

And so yes, definitely like making technology is hard. How do you cope with this? Because it must not be easy every day when you have to go through such an intense program and this is gonna be your life goal. Like, is there any moments where you're like, okay, how do you deal with this kind of pressure? Any advice or any details on this? - Yeah, I think passion is totally the answer. In any hard time or hard moment, I was just so passionate about our technology and the impact it could have.

I could always bring myself back to a place of like, okay, I'm doing the right thing. It's gonna mean something to someone else. And you kind of have to be selfless in in a way like that. You gotta put your own stuff aside for the better being of the company. But at the same time, you have to take care of yourself, and I'm sure Larron knows as a founder, if you're not good yourself, then you can't go off and do big things. So that's kinda what I'd have to say for that.

- Just to add to that, I would say that chemical engineering is not easy in general, simple. There's not many easy options as a chemical engineer or somebody who's gonna do hard tech. And you have to go into it knowing that this is going to be difficult. Some experiments are gonna fail, some things that are gonna become difficult, and that the pressure's gonna come on. But you have to, as Oliver said, look at the vision, look at the greater mission and have that passion and say, "Listen, we're gonna get through it and we're gonna do this for the greater good really."

- Kassie, you're working at Tsai CITY on the like helping student entrepreneur things. Do you have any advice on how to bring people together in this? Because there's a lot of mentorship happening and I'm sure this is the kind of topics that are discussed daily in your center. What piece of advice you could give to people regarding like when things get hard, like who to bring along and like how to help you because you're not on your own. Like there's a lot of structure everywhere and how do you access those? - Yeah this is something that we talk about at Tsai CITY quite a bit, the founder's journey, and the highs are really high and the lows are really low.

And honestly, I think Oliver and Larron probably would say it, if someone told you everything you would have to do in order to actually successfully launch your business, you'd probably say "You're crazy and no, I'm not gonna do that." Like the amount of work, the effort, and the unknown is, it's a scary thing. So for us, mental health is a very important topic that we talk about with all of our founders in pretty much every program that we do around venture development, and that looks a little different for other folks, but some of the key themes that I've seen founders use to keep themselves healthy and happy during this really crazy journey that is startup life is having friends that aren't founders, having friends who are founders who know, sticking to a routine, which sounds bizarre, but there's so much that founders can't control that by controlling their daily routine, whether that be keeping up in the morning, going for a run before opening their inbox, or taking that 15 minute mental break is crucial for just that day-to-day grind to get over humps and obstacles. And then I sound like a broken record, but talk to other people.

So your mentors, your friends, your family, they all are there to support you. And they may not know your journey fully, whether they're founders or not. But it's one of those things, sometimes founders can feel very isolated and alone in their journeys, and it doesn't have to be that way.

- Yeah, thank you. That's very helpful. And so hopefully the people who have the ideas and want to transfer this have the passion and the drive to help on this. But I think it's important to know that it's not gonna be the easiest path, and I think being prepared for adversity is probably something that's very nice. I think it's very similar to start long studies. Like when you go to school, you don't really know what opportunities that are gonna become.

And so for example, in my case, if I had known that I would go all the way through a PhD and all of the the hurdle that you have to go through. I think it's very similar and it's pretty similar also in jobs when you go to different big projects like knowing that you have to go through and being prepared is I think a pretty good thing. And speaking of, we have a question in the chat. For international students that are trying to access all these resources and education, do you have any ideas? And I'm not sure we can answer right away for like international in particular, but is there any incubator or fundings or education that was helpful that you could tap in and maybe talk to other funders on? And is there like funder happy hour or these kind of things, this kind of element that can help you learn about all the resources? - I would say I'm an international student myself, so it all depends on your level of visa status. But definitely start with the conversation with your school's international office, which will give you a pathway on like where you can go within the university or outside the university and how you can navigate such a much more difficult time. But it is possible.

And essentially there are opportunities beyond government grants for example. I mean you might be concerned about that where a lot of the government grants require US citizenship, but there are opportunities outside of that for funding your startup early on and resources like for example, VentureWell, there are a lot of resources that are online that are non-affiliated with your citizenship. And so there's an opportunity for you still to participate in the very treacherous journey of entrepreneurship. - I'd also add check out Unshackled Ventures.

Their whole mission is to support international entrepreneurs. - Yeah, talking in terms of, I think it was funding was a part of your initial question. And we had gone through CCEI, they've been in a fantastic resource. We did an accelerator program in which we got some money there, but like Larron said, we're in the process of drafting our phase one SBAR grant through the NSF.

So yeah, there's definitely a lot of resources, but I would just give a shout out to CCEI especially because they're really great and right here in Connecticut. - Oh, thank you, and speaking of funding, we have another question asking, getting investments is already difficult enough, and so how do you keep the funding when things are being more challenging? Like what advice would you give to people when the results of your research and development does not make the investor happy? How do you combine poor results? Not poor result, but like result that does not align with either investor having two higher props. Because we hear often the term of like fake it until you make it. But I think in term of big technology transfer, the faking it is really difficult. I don't think that's the right route.

And so how do you reconcile these two things? - For me, this really strikes a chord because one of the things that is my core value is honesty and I'm pretty honest with the state of the technology, the risks that are ahead, and the way I communicate that. And so I think the people who are interested in investing in the startup is already aware that this is the state of the technology, these are the technical risks, and this is an opportunity that things may work out or they may not work out. And so long as we go into it knowing that we're not gonna oversell the potential because it is an experiment, and if we knew the results of an experiment, we probably wouldn't have done it. So just going into it, very honest with the parties that, listen, this is an experiment. We're gonna give it our best effort, we're gonna do our due diligence with the experiment.

And if it turns out that it, for example didn't work, maybe just provide a future plan on how do you intend to mitigate it, what things have you learned from this experiment that you can move forward on. And I would also say that the startup world is a little bit different than research where if you do have a startup with a great idea and the technology just doesn't work out, it's okay, you can start another startup, right? The startup world is flooded with founders who had multiple companies that failed and then started again. And it's okay to communicate that failure well to your investors and your parties, letting them know that, hey, I did my best, the technology just wasn't ready at the time, and maybe we need to accept the reality here opposed to spinning it in some other way that becomes dishonest and just found out again down the line.

So that's my advice I would give. And so just lead with the honesty, understand that a failure is acceptable in this realm. It is hard technology, it is research, so long as you give it your best try.

- And just to add onto that, someone told me investors don't really invest in your technology, they invest in you. And I think honesty is such a key pillar to even get interested from investors. But yeah, investors know there's a certain level of risk, but it's that trust they have between you and them that allows them to make that decision. - Kassie, do you have any stats or numbers or figure that you know about like the number of the average number of startup that people are working in or the number of failure rate through the success story because we sort of know all of the big ones like, oh my God, they're making millions and millions of dollars. But do you have any sense of what are the ecosystems and what's the ratio more or less? - I don't because it's so massive and it's also, you'd have to go down through so many layers of defining what is a startup and venture and things like that, but it'd be a really interesting research study.

Let me know when you have that that go. - Somebody listening to this video might be interested in having a review paper on these things. We are almost at the end of the time, so maybe one thing we could do is we could have around the panelists and have one or two minutes each to like talk about what kind of the last advice if you have anything that you haven't mentioned or anything or any concluding thoughts on this. And then we can end the panel if you want. Who wants to start? - Yeah. So find something you're passionate about. I feel like that's been a kind of an overlying topic here, but find something you're passionate about solving and just dive in head first.

And you don't have to know what's gonna come ahead, but again, being in my major, people are like, what is that? I don't even know what that is, How are you gonna get a job? And I just said, look, if you answer and follow your dreams and passions, you can use whatever you're doing right now as just a tool to get you to where you want to be. So definitely don't let anything define you per se. - I'll go next. I'll take my time to kind of motivate the student entrepreneurs or potential student entrepreneurs, especially those interested in climate and quantum as well.

There are great technologies at a university and I think we all realize that people are working on very difficult and hard things, and there's great innovative technology at a university and sometimes it just requires you to take that leap of faith onto technology and provide your energy and elbow grease to commercialize it and work with your tech transfer office and get it out of the university and actually make an impact on the world. So if you're on the fence with that idea, I would say go for it. The world needs more smart, innovative people working on very difficult problems because there's a lot of problems out there.

So if there's a technology that you've been working on in your PhD or that is available in the university that you're interested in and it aligns with your vision, your passion, definitely go for it. - More with both of you. I guess mine is just don't be afraid to get started. It's okay that you don't know and it's okay that you're a first time founder and it's okay if you fail. Like you're gonna learn a lot through this journey and you're only gonna grow and be stronger.

So just get started. - Thank you all so much for taking the time to share your experience with us. My word of advice for all of you is that quantum technology is going to be an enabling technology. So it's not something that will like get killed by over hype because it's not something that's like AI or like machine learning or from like self-driving cars or things like this or 3D movies for example.

It's not something that will have a fade and then will go on. But there's gonna be a lot of activities whether it's in like the chemical processes, the encryption, it could also be in a lot of building softwares for this machine. So it's gonna be helpful for finance, for chemistry, for healthcare, for a lot of application. And so if you look at all of this, quantum CT will help like structure all of this.

So there's gonna be more and more structure to bring to the community and create jobs. And so maybe that's something you want to look at trying to figure out if you have a good idea that could benefit from quantum technology down the line, maybe it's a good moment to start to think about technology transfer. That's all. Well, thank you so much for taking the time, and if you have any questions after this, feel free to reach out to any of us and we'll be happy to answer all your questions. Thank you all. Have a good afternoon.

2024-05-05 13:01

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