English Course Title: University Entrepreneurship (How to build a startup, to develop applications of your research)
‒ Do you believe that your research can be applied in ways that respond to real unmet human needs ‒ that make life better for people not just in Japan but also in other countries?
‒ Are you interested in an entrepreneurial approach to develop these applications and to bring them to market so that people can use them widely?
If you answer “yes” to both these questions, then this course is for you. The spring semester course, Needs Inspired Inventionニーズに触発された発明, also seeks students who answer “yes” to the same questions. However, University Entrepreneurship, focuses on how to build a new company than can carry forward early stage development quickly and eﬃciently with beneﬁt to the founders as well as society at large.
This is an individualized and participatory course, originally developed by Prof. Robert Kneller, modelled on the science‒ entrepreneurship mentoring programs that constitute the Stanford BioDesign, Stanford Medical School’s Spark, and Y‒ combinator.
Participants is expected to be serious about wanting to develop real world applications for their research and realistically planning to build a viable company to achieve this.
Students must be able to understand conversational English and to participate in English discussions. Written assignments must be submitted in English.
Topics to be covered include:
A: Inspiration and then the hard (but hopefully fulﬁlling) road forward
B. Deﬁning the need a company a company will fulﬁl.
‒What is its market?
‒Why would anyone buy its products/services?
‒What is your competition, and what is your company's competitive advantage?
C. Understanding the steps to market.
‒What technical barriers must be overcome?
‒What personnel are needed?
‒What, if any, intellectual property is needed?
‒Regulatory and other legal issues.
‒How to obtain ﬁnancing.
‒How to maintain and build a customer base?
D. Need for continuous adaptation
E. The role of the university in the company building process.