Entrepreneurship and Academia: Career Pathways in Innovation Ecosystems (English)

Friday, August 27

10:45-11:45 am EDT

Workshop Hall

Interactive Workshop

Universities play an active role in the regional innovation ecosystem which encompasses many other stakeholders such as companies, start-up businesses, and NGOs with whom they interact and cooperate. Early- and mid-career researchers are faced with the question what career pathways there are in academia or entrepreneurial ecosystems beyond the traditional tracks. Our expert panel from Germany and the United States will explore the following questions and share their insights and advice on the opportunities that can emerge from regional innovation ecosystems where paths in academia, industry and start-ups overlap.  

  • How can universities provide innovation hubs tailored towards early- and mid-career researchers that focus on academia-industry partnerships? What opportunities arise from regional innovation ecosystems? 
  • What criteria should one evaluate in determining whether to follow a path as an entrepreneur or not? Relatedly, can a detour on the path of entrepreneurship still allow a pathway back to academia / professorship?  
  • How does one get from research / idea phase to a successful start-up? What skills does one need as an entrepreneur and what are the steps?  
  • What strategies can founders / entrepreneurs take to remain in contact with the university systems?  
  • What kind of services exist within the university and beyond and what is the benefit of this additional network?


  • Prof. Dr. Tessa Flatten, Vice-Rector, Internationalization, Professor for Technology and Management, Department of Business and Economics, TU Dortmund 
  • Dr. Tatjana Nisic, Head of Transfer, OWL University of Applied Sciences and Arts 
  • Dr. Mridul Agrawal, MSc, Postdoctoral Fellow, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Co-Founder, iuvando Health GmbH, GAIN Advisory Board
  • Moderator: Maurice Lee, Program Director, Life Sciences, German Accelerator