On the last day of sTARTUp Day, I met a Latvian entrepreneur over my modest lunch. We talked about machines taking over erratic humans in service and how it’s difficult for older companies to keep up with the times. I told her my story, and, before she left, she repeated several times: “Don’t give up!”
This is something I have heard before, and not long ago. sTARTUp Day – the biggest business festival in the Baltics, with 4,000 participants and a huge programme on three stages, plus a number of seminar rooms – started with a slackliner show. Jaan Roose shared his story after the performance. His piece of advice was something along the lines of: when you have failed again and again, ask yourself: Can I do it just one more time?
Science to business
One of the panels at sTARTUp Day was about the challenges and opportunities of turning science projects into businesses. The panelists agreed that commercialization of research is a sidetrack for scientists that is not duly evaluated or advancing their career.
“Academics see it as a distraction, and I understand it,” said Benjamin Miles, CEO of Spin Up Science Bristol. “But it is changing,” he added. Mikko Pohjola, Collaboration Manager at the University of Turku, agreed with this: “It is extra work for researchers. Publications push you forward in your career. But it’s becoming part of everyday life.”