KRING encourage PhDs to explore the entrepreneurship space

by | 2023

Last week, KRING’s Co-Managing Partner, Jacob Madsen, was part of the exciting Innovation Event at the newly established KU Lighthouse in Copenhagen. The Innovation Event was organized with a focus on encouraging PhD students to explore entrepreneurship as an alternative career path. Amongst other inspiring speakers, Jacob took the stage and introduced the concept of a venture building studio, elaborating specifically on our unique Speedbooting model –  a “think big, start small, scale fast” process for co-creating human-centric solution ideas for the market quickly and efficiently (link).

After the formal presentations, KRING’s team members had a chance to network and gain insights on the latest science developments. What struck us during these conversations was that some of the brightest minds in the audience had no clear understanding of how their PhD background could fit with the entrepreneurship world. While there is no simple answer, we are ready to shed some light on this and provide key arguments for why PhDs are a great fit for venture building activities:

  • Deep and focused knowledge: One of the most unique talents PhD students have is the 360-degree expertise in their research area. The deep understanding of the topic is developed throughout a solid (usually long) academic journey and provides exceptional knowledge into areas yet to be explored by the commercial business. These insights come in handy in the early discovery stage, identifying potential problems, and exploring market opportunities.

  • Dedication: Pursuing a PhD degree requires a significant amount of time, effort, and commitment. Students must complete years of coursework, conduct original research, and write a dissertation. Similarly, the venture-building process can be challenging, with many hours of validation, unforeseen obstacles and uncertainties along the way. Being able to consistently show dedication and follow through commitments are ultimately the key indicators for successful companies.

  • Creative solutions: While creativity is not the first word that comes to mind when we talk about science research, it is definitely an important asset. Often pushed outside of their comfort zone, PhD students are encouraged to think outside of the box which leads to innovation and technological advancements.

  • Diverse toolbox: PhD students usually hold unique skills, as they have been exposed to various activities during their research and educational background. During their academic journey, they also get to work in team settings, often strengthening their collaborative approach and communication skills. Their capability of adapting to unexpected challenges and flexibility to adjust their plans make them suitable candidates for early stage ventures.

If you are not convinced that PhD students are great talents for venture- building activities, maybe the real-life example will help our arguments:

  • Dr. Andrew Ng: Dr. Ng is a computer scientist and entrepreneur who co-founded Google Brain, Coursera, and He holds a PhD in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Dr. Jessica Mah: Dr. Mah is the co-founder and CEO of inDinero, a financial software company. She holds a PhD in accounting from Stanford University.
  • Dr. Michael Morbius: Dr. Morbius is a biotech entrepreneur and CEO of Morphic Therapeutic. He holds a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard University.
  • Dr. Larry Page: Dr. Page is a computer scientist and entrepreneur who co-founded Google, now Alphabet Inc. He holds a PhD in computer science from Stanford University.
  • Dr. Michelle Dipp: Dr. Dipp is the co-founder and CEO of OvaScience, a biotechnology company focused on fertility treatments. She holds a PhD in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia: Dr. Bhatia is a biotech entrepreneur and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has co-founded several companies, including Hepregen and Glympse Bio, and holds a PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of California, San Diego

If you already have further questions around the topic, or you want to deeper understand whether your research area is a fit for KRING – reach out to our Talent Lead, Gergana R. Nielsen at

Are you interested in becoming a Co-Founder in a KRING impact venture? Read more about what it means to be a co-founder in our article here or on our website, and/or fill out our Co-Founder Assessment here


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