PhDs With a Business

Lindy-Ledohowski-PhD-EssayJack

E021 Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Lindy Ledohowski on the Origins of EssayJack

Dr. Lindy Ledohowski (B.A., B.Ed., M.A., Ph.D.) was a former English teacher and then English professor in Canada before becoming an EdTech CEO for academic writing software platform, EssayJack (https://www.essayjack.com/). She has won numerous awards for her teaching, research, and publications, and is now an award-winning entrepreneur — among others, All Digital Schools Editors Choice 2020 (category: Communication with Students, English, Poetry, Reading, Teach Tools, and Writing), Pitchdeck Asia Startup Awards 2019 (winner of EdTech Startup Most Likely to Succeed), or Tech Edvocate Awards 2018 (finalist for Best Literacy App or Tool). She has published both peer-reviewed scholarship and popular pieces on writing and transitioning from the academy into entrepreneurship.

In this webinar, Lindy told us the story behind her decision to leave her tenure track. She also shared the origin story of her academic writing software platform, EssayJack. What was the motivation behind the project? What were the main bottlenecks so far? How to make sure that your online marketing works as expected? What is the secret behind the platform’s recent exponential growth? How to successfully develop a business as a couple? What is the most surprising and the most tricky aspect of moving from academia to industry?

E019 Alican Noyan on Launching a Machine Learning Startup Developing Diagnostic Tools in Healthcare

Dr. Alican Noyan has a background in Materials Science. He went for an industrial PhD program in Hewlett Packard in collaboration with the Institute of Photonic Sciences (Institut de Ciències Fotòniques, ICFO) in Barcelona, Spain. During his PhD, he developed and fabricated a novel self-cleaning surface for HP. After his PhD, he continued working at ICFO. During his 2-year contract, he developed machine learning models for several photonics research projects. For example, he built a neural network for object detection and another for image-to-image translation for a novel microscope. He also used other machine learning algorithms for finding patterns inside particle scattering profiles.

Today, he works for his own company, Ipsumio (https://www.ipsumio.com/), where he uses machine learning to solve problems in physics and healthcare for research groups and companies. He juggles his time between small consultancy projects and long term projects that might lead to the development of new diagnostic methods in healthcare and incorporation of new startups in the future.

In this webinar, Alican told us how PhD programs in private companies such as Hewlett Packard look like. Do you also publish peer-reviewed articles? Who supervises you? How much is your PhD research influenced by the commercial interests of the company that hires you? Furthermore, Alican told us about his entrepreneurial endeavors. When did he first think about setting his own company? What is his business model? What are his plans for the future? What is his philosophy about building business and building life?

Natalia-Bielczyk-PhD

E015 Natalia Bielczyk on Starting Your First Company as a PhD: Things That No One Will Tell You

Dr. Natalia Bielczyk is an entrepreneur, researcher, author, and philanthropist. She graduated from the College of Inter-Faculty Individual Studies in Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Warsaw, Poland, with a triple MS title in Physics, Mathematics, and Psychology. Thereafter, she obtained a PhD in Computational Neuroscience at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behavior in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. In 2018, she launched a public foundation, Stichting Solaris Onderzoek en Ontwikkeling, aiming to help early career researchers find new careers in industry. She also owns Welcome Solutions, a company developing new tools and practices to help professionals in navigating on the job market, and in finding/creating their dream jobs. Even though she chose to work in the open market, she is still a researcher in her free time and has a strong belief in the compatibility of science and entrepreneurship.

In this special episode of the open Sunday webinar, Natalia talked about entrepreneurship for researchers. Is setting a company as a researcher hard? Under what circumstances should you consider registering a business? What are the traps you might potentially fall into? A startup or a sale proprietorship? How was Welcome Solutions created? What’s the vision, and the plans for developing the company further?

Alessandro-Montalto-PhD

E012 How To Become a Life Coach PhD? How To Deal With Pains and Struggles While Leaving Academia?

Dr. Alessandro Montalto holds a PhD degree in Statistical Data Analysis applied to neuroscience awarded by the University of Gent, Belgium. Before his PhD program, he completed his Master’s degree in Physics at University of Federico II in Naples, Italy. During his PhD, he developed a Matlab toolbox called MuTE to detect directed dynamical links among brain regions.

After the successful project in Gent, Alessandro moved to Sydney for a Postdoc project dedicated to complex systems. A few months into the project, he was hit by an overwhelming epiphany: he was pursuing an unfulfilling life, and the academic path wasn’t for him. He went through a tough time during which he came out of burnout and depression. Alessandro then decided to quit academia and start doing what he really loves: connecting, sharing, and helping. Thus, he went through an inner journey that led him to a certification in life coaching.

Alessandro envisions his life as a promoter and a facilitator of change. That’s why, after 15+ years of working remotely, Alessandro now helps other fellow remote workers create the most burnout-free and fulfilling remote work experience as a freelancer (https://www.alemontalto.com/). He shares his own life journey in combination with CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) coaching tools. Furthermore, Alessandro freelances as a marketing consultant to help companies engage with their clients in a more human and team-oriented fashion.

In this episode, Alessandro told us about his long and painful transition beyond academia, his personal strategies to deal with pain, and about his approach as a Life Coach. He also explained how to become a Life Coach, and which qualities you need in this profession.