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Transitioning Out of Academia? Here’s Visha’s Story…

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Visha Krishnan transitioned from academia to The SearchLite (TSL) several years ago and now has transitioned again into the world of intellectual patent (IP) licensing!

From her involvement at The SearchLite, Visha gained varied experiences in startups and consulting and, for the next stage of her career, she wanted to pursue negotiation and licensing. TSL focused more on consulting,market validation and customer discovery research, while her new position focuses on commercialization (technology transfer). She compares her role to being a broker of technology. “We just make things happen. We help people find the right customer company,” Visha said. This new position allows for Visha to take every single skill obtained throughout her academic and professional career to date and provide a whole round experience. Rather than sitting behind the scenes and working from the bench, she is able to help get the science out into the market. Visha recommends this field for any Innovator in Residence or any academic that loves science, loves to learn new things, and desires to be involved in new areas of translating research. “Every single skill that I have picked up at TSL, I will be using it in this job and any job in the future, Visha stated. Her skills obtained included market assessment, business involvement, people management, working with startups, and strategizing. With her dynamic experience, Visha was able to apply those concepts to her new position of approaching potential licensees and finding people to interview for potential licensees.

Visha mentions that in the field of licensing, you have to understand the science, what the researchers are looking at, and how to approach the right people. She mentions that although many IIRs move into consulting because they have been with skills gained through market assessment and negotiation and evaluating technology, licensing would also be a field of interest for academics looking to make a transition out of academia. She mentions that the skills obtained through the IIR Program are not limited to a single field but would be valuable in several professions like tech transfer, startup, and research and design.

Visha said that being in a hospital system is a completely different environment for her than her previous experiences, but she is excited to learn about this new system. She continued to say that she still does many similar tasks, but it’s cool to see the differences. She is also excited about the innovation programs that the office has, making it unique and refreshing.

Visha is just one example of many who have made the transition out of academia. So, if you are questioning what’s out there and are doubtful of stepping out of your comfort zone, we hope Visha’s story will encourage you to take a leap of faith and explore the many professions that are awaiting topic specific experts – like you.  

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