Everything you don´t learn in the lab

Startup basics for scientists

Topic area
Career development

Online or in-house workshop

4 webinars of 2-2.5 h each = 2 workshop days

David Giltner

Target group
PhD students and postdocs


Have you ever thought about working for a startup? Or maybe you even want to go one step further: your research has some promising applications and you’ve actually thought about starting your own company? The world of startups is very exciting, but it requires skills and knowledge that aren’t as critical when working for an established company. In a startup, there is much less structure to guide you and you may have to cover many different roles with little support. This workshop will give you an introduction to the world of the startup tech company. You will learn to decide if you and the start-up world are a good fit. You will learn how a brand new product is brought to market and which critical skills and tools you need for being successful.

Workshop Contents

Introduction – What is a startup really about?

  • What s it like to work for a startup?
  • Startups vs. established companies
  • Why do startups fail? Selling something no one will buy
  • Can a scientist be a good entrepreneur?

Technology commercialisation and product development

  • What is a product? The 5 critical elements
  • Your Product (What), Features (How) and Value Proposition (Why)
  • Product development systems (Product manager, Product Development Process, design review, Minimum Viable Product)

Your pitch – selling your idea

  • Goals of your pitch. Who is your audience?
  • Your pitch deck
  • Pitching effectively

Productivity in the startup environment

  • Understanding the private sector
  • A scientist’s role in a startup
  • Critical skills for the startup environment


Are you already interested to learn more about the workshop content? You might be interested in our articles The self-employed scientist or Being an entrepreneur.

Our talk Developing profitable technology products deals with the related topic of product development. 

Course Flow Online Workshops

Day 1

Live Webinar

  • Kick-off
  • Intro to the startup world
  • Your product


  • Individual and group course work (online and offline)
Day 2

Live Webinar

  • 5 Elements of a product
  • Academia vs. industry


  • Individual and group course work (online and offline)
Day 3

Live Webinar

  • Product development systems and tools
  • Pitching your idea


  • Individual and group course work (online and offline)
Day 4

Live Webinar

  • Productivity in a startup
  • The Minimum Viable Product


  • Individual and group course work (online and offline)
Weeks 2-3
Individual written or oral feedback from the instructor
Scroll to Top