Are you an Academicpreneur?


Waking up in the morning, you feel your heart beating, hungry for the day, what's the time? Why am I so late? You run out of the door without breakfast, catch the bus, jump into a free seat and go through your social media streams rather quickly. You aim for your office, open the door and, then, it's the first time you breath out, you fall into your chair, sit back and observe your laptop starting. It is then when, you structure your thoughts, prioritize your tasks for the day. But today, something is different, something isn't right. Looking up at your laptop screen you hold to yourself for a moment. The screen on your laptop goes black and with white letters it asks:

Who are you?

You are shocked. What happened? It goes through your mind, who who am I... Who? Your laptop asks you in a robotic voice: Shall I tell you? 

Your jaw opens, you remain silent, waiting to wake up from a dream, telling yourself, something isn't real here, you might be hallucinating, perhaps you are still in bed. But what if not, you look at your door, it's closed, your ran to it, you decide to close it with your key. Then, you silently walk back, stare at your screen and say: "Yes". 

You find yourself stupidly looking around as if some confetti bomb is going to explode or some friends jump out of your closet. But nothing happens. Only the start of a robotic voice makes you jump from your seat, looking helplessly at your screen. The voice says:

You love to create new things, work in teams, convince others about your great idea, apply for funds and follow your own vision.

You have got an idea how you want to contribute to society and you are convinced that doing that would make you feel fulfilled.

You love to write and to read. You think that knowledge building is the core for human progress. But for you thinking is not enough, you have to work hard, feel the pain of relentless creation of something new, you see yourself rather as a wood chopper chopping pieces of wood than a philosopher in a cave. 


You call your writing projects. Each project has a start and a dead-line. You use Gantt charts to track your progress and you note everything down you think and read. You are tracking your head trying to turn everything into something useful. It's a race of your outer-self against your inner-self, a race that you may never be able to finish. 

Always on the hunt, relentlessly working to create something that is special, that you have been a part of.

You actually see no difference between papers, companies, blog posts, taking a photo, building a presentation. They are expressions of your wish to create in your minde. Teaching creativity needs you to go from quantitative to qualitative, from structured to spontaneous, from frontal to interactive, but most importantly from an academic to an entrepreneur. You cannot imagine to inspire others to create something if you are not at least trying yo create something by yourself.

If you want to teach creativity, you have to inspire with creativity.

You want your days to be filled with important decisions and events. You want your days to be special, to be recognized as unique by yourself. You want to do things that nobody has done before, that's when you realize you are not only an academic, but an academicpreneur.

When the robotic voices ends, the screen goes white again. You look at yourself with your mouth still open. You ask yourself, how does my laptop know me better than I do? What does he mean with Academicpreneur?

You ask your laptop (although you feel stupid doing it):

What do you mean with Academicpreneur? 

The robotic voice answers: Academicpreneur is a mix of academic and entrepreneur. Many either decide to pursue an academic or business career, but there is a way to pursue both. You have a foot in two worlds and having access to both worlds may help you stay more firmly. Science may help you to stay ahead and think more critically and broadly, it may help you consistently transfer your scientific results into business model opportunities and may help you recruiting the best talents early.

Not only the same skills are required for entrepreneurship and science, but you basically do the same things.

You need to work in teams, gather funding, innovate, break borders, disrupt common structures and lead  and coordinate multiple projects. Why not pursuing  both?  Academic and entrepreneurial activities are not incompatible, in fact they may go hand-in-hand.

Indeed, the number of academics becoming an entrepreneur is increasing. The alumni from MIT for instance had built 25,800 active firms with global yearly sales of $2 trillion. 

So go out and create, build, re-new, innovate, support others and don't care if it's a business or research project. Let your potential to create something unique determine what you want to pursue and not a given path. 


In the end, the robotic voice got louder, nearly screaming, it left you with an echo in your office and in your head that will follow you for some time. You breath in and out and decide to start thinking newly about your priorities since your laptop is right. You are an Academicpreneur.

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