Science and Entrepreneurship: A Researcher’s Perspective
Time: 2013.09.27 9:30am
Address: Rm. 350, Micro/nanoelectronics building, Peking University
Speaker: Sunny Shah
University of Notre Dame
How can a researcher have an entrepreneurial mindset? In today’s presentation, I would like to take you on my own journey at University of Notre Dame to find an answer to that question. The first part of the talk will be technical and focus on the nanomembrane sensing technology we have developed for pathogen diagnostic application. Ion-exchange membranes, microfluidics and electrokinetics were used to develop this platform. I will demonstrate the stability, reproducibility, sensitivity, selectivity and versatility of the platform in the detection of nucleic acids associated with brucellosis, e.coli, dengue fever and microRNA associated with oral cancer. We are currently working on development of a low-cost, integrated biochip capable of going from sample to detection within an hour.
In the second part, I will focus on the NSF I-Corps experience that we went through for this nanomembrane detection technology and its feasibility in the food safety market. I will highlight the importance of customer discovery (getting out of the building and interviewing potential customers) and business model canvas when determining the commercialization feasibility of this or any technology.
The last part of the talk would focus on an exciting program at Notre Dame: Engineering, Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Excellence Master’s Program (ESTEEM). The program forms an entrepreneurship ecosystem comprising of aspiring entrepreneurs from all over the world immersed into a rigorous curriculum to learn the basic concepts of commercializing an existing technology. I will conclude by giving you a brief synopsis of the curriculum and what students do after completion of the ESTEEM program.
Sunny Shah is a senior scientist at University of Notre Dame. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. from University of California, Davis in Biomedical Engineering. During his time at UC Davis, he received the competitive NSF EAPSI fellowship to conduct research in S. Korea. After receiving his degree, Sunny decided to pursue the position at Notre Dame to bridge the gap between Chemical Engineering, Biology, Technology Transfer and Commercialization. During his time at Notre Dame, he has been working on development of a diagnostic platform for detection of pathogens. In addition, Sunny has also been leading commercialization efforts in the Chang laboratory and working on development of first-generation prototypes. He has also been successful in receiving local as well as national grants through NSF and NIH including the NSF I-Corps grant. Recently, Sunny taught a course for the Notre Dame’s ESTEEM program on the fundamentals of business model canvas and entrepreneurship. In his spare time, Sunny enjoys rock climbing, camping and traveling as well as playing racquet sports.