IEEE PULSE presents

Transitioning from the Lab Bench to Business

Book Reviews January/February 2015
Author: Paul King

Eugene Kohr, Academic Press, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-12-410516-4, xx + 21 pages, US$49.95.
From Academia to Entrepreneur: Lessons from the Real World by Eugene Khor is an interesting, compact, reasonably priced, 13-chapter textbook conveying lessons learned by the author both during his time in academia and while in business, where he took several inventions from the laboratory to market. It is the author’s attempt to share his experiences regarding the considerations and decision-making processes that he and his acquaintances confronted in starting up what he terms a runway (rather than mainstream) biomedical enterprise from academia.
Each chapter begins with an outline of its contents, with the text itself relating to the chapter title. Also included in each chapter are a summary block titled “Real World Lessons Learnt,” a relevant quote for the chapter, and references. The chapter titles are generally self-explanatory regarding their content:

  • Chapter 1: “Entrepreneuring Academic Biomedical Science”
  • Chapter 2 : “ The Academic-Business Conundrum”
  • Chapter 3: “Taking Academic Biomedical Research Beyond the Lab Bench”
  • Chapter 4: “To Become a Runaway Entrepreneur from Academia”
  • Chapter 5: “What Is the Business?”
  • Chapter 6: “Business Plan”
  • Chapter 7: “Raising Funds”
  • Chapter 8: “Regulatory Requirements”
  • Chapter 9: “Consultants”
  • Chapter 10: “Action Plan”
  • Chapter 11: “When the Rubber Hits the Road”
  • Chapter 12: “A Few Additional Lessons from the Battle Front”
  • Chapter 13: “Arrival.”

The first four chapters generally cover the author’s experience and early choices in taking experimental work from the workbench to a concept worth marketing. Much of the remainder of the book is practical advice, once again based primarily on the author’s experience in academia and business. Chapter 13 covers how to thank people who helped you; it also addresses looking back versus looking forward and moving on with your life.
This textbook is recommended as supplemental reading for courses on entrepreneurship. As a standalone text, it is one that the reader might use to familiarize himself or herself with the concepts involved in entrepreneurship. The reader might wish to read chapters straight through or, alternatively, to read the “Real World Lessons Learnt” section in each chapter to decide whether the material is relevant to his or her interests.

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