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Commercialization and Entrepreneurship workshop

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On July 14 and 15, 2016, I attended the "Professional Development Workshop on Commercialization and Entrepreneurship" offered by CONRAD. The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Doug Beynon, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre; and Rachel Bartholomew, CEO and Founder of the Mod Market.

As scientists, we often find the business world exotic and far-fetched, even though some of us have thought at least once about the potential commercialization of our ideas. This workshop bridged the gap between the academic world and the business world. We learned that starting a business then making it successful is not much different from successfully completing a research project. The differences are there, of course, but they are much more superficial than one's initial thought.

During the course of this workshop we learned, among other things, about what a business plan is and how to recognize (and expand) your market share. We learned that patents are not an instrument of evil and learned how to use them to protect your product(s); how to get funding and attract investors and finally, how to make sure your business recovers from "the valley of death" and thrives.

Overall I was truly impressed by the quality of this workshop. Both Doug and Rachel took the time to explain in great detail every concept and to answer ALL the questions we had. I highly recommend this workshop to every scientist and future entrepreneur, because it will make you realize that good research is indeed important and brings great benefits to humankind. For those who are thinking about opening their own business, this workshop is a must! It will provide you an invaluable experience!