Universiteit Leiden

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Career development | Research

Introduction into Entrepreneurship for Academics

In an increasingly interconnected world, academics can act on opportunities for innovation much faster than before. In three interactive morning sessions of 4 hours, this course helps you turn scientific advancements into meaningful initiatives; creating both academic and business value.

Target group
PhD candidate
Tim de Jong  (Senior Legal Counsel)
Training course

The aim of this course is to get a better understanding of business analysis, knowledge transfer, legal frameworks and prototyping methodologies and other approaches on setting-up academic ventures. Participants are introduced to techniques that can be used to create societal value through academic research projects.

For whom

Leiden University and LUMC PhD candidates

Topics covered

In three classes, both academics and practitioners will provide theoretical models and case studies in an interactive manner.

Class 1: Science and society by Ivo de Nooijer (Luris)

This class will focus on the role of science in society, discussing knowledge transfer opportunities and barriers, as well as intellectual property. International examples of academic knowledge transfers will be presented. Participants will analyze societal challenges and assess the relevance of their research. Based on stakeholder analysis participants are asked to consider the ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the problem their research helps solve from the partner’s perspective. In addition, participants are introduced to basic concepts behind intellectual property.

Class 2: Product market fit by Raffi Balder (HUBspot) and Bart Hoenen (Area071/Luris)

This class introduces business analysis, market research and prototyping methodologies, discussing the concepts of lean start-up, businessmodel canvas and exponential organizations. Participants work on a value proposition canvas for an academic venture, based on their own idea. The outcome of the class is an understanding of an early product market fit and participants will be able to pitch their plans.

Class 3: Value, Investments and growth by Rob Mayfield (Luris)

This class looks at the fundamentals of value creation and capture, how and why investors provide financing, investment structures, financial and governance considerations for academic and technology based ventures.  Case studies of successful investments in academic ventures will be discussed. Participants will build on previous assignments to develop financial models and valuations of their own projects, and highlight key areas of risk and opportunity for an academic venture. The participants will be asked to present key aspects of their business plans at the end of the session.

What you'll learn

After attending the course academic entrepreneurship participants are able to:

  • Discuss legal implications, barriers and opportunities for academic knowledge transfer;
  • Analyse a societal challenge and assess the relevance of research project;
  • Describe business analysis, learn start-up and prototyping methodologies;
  • Have an understanding of an early product market fit for an academic venture;
  • Assess investment potential and discuss financial considerations for academic ventures. 


During this course theoretical frameworks and models are presented during the first hour (Theorylab), after which a case study will be analysed (Actionlab). This case study will be the basis of a discussion on the transferability on your own domain during the remainder of the class (Thinklab).


The workload for this course amounts to 12 hours including attendance and preparation.

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