The Innovators-in Residence (IIR) program is a community based learning platform offered by The SearchLite. The IIR program provides an unique opportunity for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from all backgrounds to gain experience in innovation commercialization, acquire insights into market risk assessment and build relationships with leaders in industry, while trying to solve real-world problems.
Innovators-in-Residence (IIRs) will work in multi-disciplinary teams on The SearchLite projects, with input from the Lead Catalyst, Inventors and Industry experts.
· Identifying potential markets for an early-stage invention
· Assessing product-market fit for startups
· Addressing key path-to-market questions for an invention
The IIR program is also provides in-built learning modules in the form of online classes and webinars to develop required entrepreneurial skills and competencies.
The Innovators-in Residence (IIR) program is a great platform to prepare your graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for a non-academic career. It provides a great opportunity for people in academia to interact with corporations, gain commercial insights, acquire industrial experience and build their career while working on real-world problems. The IIR program could help connect these highly motivated researchers to excellent career opportunities in industry.
The Innovator-in-Residence program will serve as a virtual internship program that The SearchLite will institute on behalf of your corporation. This program will provide your corporation the opportunity to have unparalleled access to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with entrepreneurial skills and to see them in action working on corporate project allowing first-hand evaluation of the candidate.
The IIR program at The SearchLite is a unique training and networking opportunity for those interested in commercialization and entrepreneurship. Beyond gaining some perspective on the path and processes leading to commercialization of research driven technologies, I truly valued my experiences conducting primary research with subject matter experts from venture capital, executives at start-ups and fortune 1000 companies, and entrepreneurs across various academic and industry segments. Moreover, as an IIR, I was connected to a community of peers with similar interests and industry experts with decades of commercialization experience. It was through these connections that I learned about and transitioned into a medical innovation fellowship as I completed my graduate training.
—— Harsha Ramaraju
IIR Alumni PhD Candidate Biomedical Engineering University of Michigan
Working at the SearchLite gave me a great insight into thinking about problems in a different way, and gave me valuable real-world business experience. I really appreciated the focus that Scott placed on developing IIRs, both to help us excel in working with TSL clients and build capabilities to support our career goals. I consistently was impressed with the teams on which I worked, and with the dynamic discussions that occurred during team calls about how best to serve our clients’ needs. I currently work for a management consulting firm, and my experience with TSL was integral in helping me make this transition. For me, working as an IRR really emphasized the importance of developing soft skills and a business orientation towards problem solving, both of which were aptitudes I was not taught in academia. In particular, the skills I developed in interviewing experts have been invaluable. Overall, my role at TSL was integral in helping me prepare to transition out of academia and provided me with core competencies to streamline this process.
—— Marina Vigen
IIR Alumni Researcher Biomedical Engineering University of Michigan