Women in Science
Building spin-off companies and collaborating with industry
Interview excerpt: Kylie talks about some of the training she has attended that has helped her manage relations with industrial collaborators and develop a spin-off company.
I've had a real interest in entrepreneurship right from postdoc days and that meant we had a couple of patents that never actually went anywhere but we, we filed a couple of patent applications and so I got really interested in how we might take those forward at that point and went on a fantastic training course that was run jointly by Cambridge University and MIT, at that point, as a sort of pilot programme to see, it was a course specifically for women in science to explore sort of what happened if you trained women in entrepreneurship, whether they ended up sort of starting more companies, recognising that there are less women involved in Boards of Directors and in starting up companies and so on. And so it was a course that ran over about nine or ten days at that time and really fantastically run course, lots of, you know, great people in to train us in all sorts of aspects right through from the how you might fund a, a spin out company through to how you deal with negotiation of contracts and all the legal aspects and then sort of what your exit strategy might be at the end of your, how to get out of the spin out company and so on.
So I really learnt so much from that and have been I guess, just sort of excited about how I might apply that at some point and suddenly now we actually do have the technology that looks really promising to, to take forward. So I'm happy to see that some of that, it's all stood me in good stead because although I probably won't be the one that will end up working in the spin out company, it's helped me to sort of see how, to understand the conversations going on around the possibilities of what we might do with this technology and yes, so I guess I've been on various courses on intellectual property and how, you know, how you sort of look after your patents and look after your intellectual property and so on, entrepreneurship courses and so on along the way. And then a few years back when I was just moving from being a postdoc to an independent researcher, there was a few academics from the chemistry department who had been involved in spin out companies who used to get together and go to the pub and talk about their experiences sometimes and back in those days I actually had time to do that [laughs].