Should Entrepreneurial Experience Be a Requirement for Tech Transfer Jobs?

What makes the ideal tech transfer candidate? Good communication skills, a knack for building relationships and connecting with people are important. What about background? What education level? An advanced degree in law, business, or a science often help a tech transfer professional speak with knowledge on the complicated research and patent specifics they deal with on a daily basis.

What about experience launching their own start-up?

Hiring practices have evolved recently and there’s a large segment of managers who believe hiring attitude is as important as what’s on a resume. We are not robots. Office culture and personality fit are becoming increasingly important in hiring decisions.

While some skills and past positions speak to who you are, one of the biggest indicators of creativity, desire to make decisions, innovate, build bridges, and try something new is the successful entrepreneur. Entrepreneurial mindset and experience are more indicative of success in tech transfer jobs than most qualities that can be illustrated on a resume.

Here are some skills of entrepreneurs that make them a good fit for tech transfer jobs:


Many tech transfer professionals are charged with managing portfolios independently. A person of action is not afraid to make difficult decisions or actively pursue next steps.

Pursuit of the End Goal

An entrepreneur must fearlessly pursue his/her goal. If they’ve run their own start-up, they risked everything to try something they believed in. They’re tenacious and understand how business runs. If they didn’t before their start-up, they do now.

Adept at Marketing and Business

Even if their start-up failed, a lot can be learned in that failure. At the minimum, they learned marketing and what investors are looking for, even if they learned these lessons through trial and error.

Okay with Change

No entrepreneur Is happy with the status quo or they wouldn’t have done their own thing.


An entrepreneur is able to wear many hats and work in a lean environment. The hours are long and they know what it’s like to be fully invested.

The one downside to hiring an entrepreneur is their quest for efficiency and streamlining process. They are always looking at connections and when inspired spend much of their time searching for ways to improve. This can be exhausting to peers.

Entrepreneurs who have enjoyed the freedom of being their own boss may also be hard to corral but the common bond they share with start-ups you are trying to work with may well be worth adjusting to the independent streak.

What do you think? Will entrepreneurialism become a necessary quality for success in tech transfer in the future?

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