Athens, Ga. – The products and processes developed by scientists at the University of Georgia may one day become the foundation for new medical treatments, cleaner energy production or faster computers. But what many might not know is that these same discoveries may also serve as the foundation for a strong business.
To help researchers better understand the business potential of their work, a group of experts will share their experiences at a panel discussion titled “Turning Research into Business” on March 26 at noon in room 175 of UGA’s Coverdell Center. The panel is designed for students, faculty and staff who might be in a position to capitalize on their inventions and discoveries, and for non-scientists who might want to create new business ventures with researchers.
“Solving problems is part of the everyday job for scientific researchers, and occasionally we come up with solutions to problems that could help a large number of people,” said Charles Mobley, postdoctoral research associate at UGA’s Complex Carbohydrate Research Center and panel organizer. “But most scientists don’t have the knowledge or experience necessary to turn those solutions into a useful product.”
Headlining the event will be Richard DeSa, a former UGA professor of biochemistry and founder of Olis Inc., a privately held company in Bogart providing advanced instruments for biophysical, biochemical and bioenergetics researchers.
DeSa founded the company in the late 1970s, doing most of the work and equipment fabrication from his home with his wife, Marcia. Today, Olis is one of the most respected names in specialized scientific equipment, and they deliver their products worldwide.
“Dr. DeSa has years of experience as a productive scientist and entrepreneur,” Mobley said. “Those who want to know more about turning their own research into a business will learn a lot from this panel discussion.”
Two other successful entrepreneurs, Lynn Bryant and Ryan Hunt, will join DeSa. Bryant is CEO of Athens Research and Technology, an Athens-based company providing human proteins to the research community and pharmaceutical and diagnostics industries. Hunt is co-founder of Algix, a company that has partnered with UGA and the Kimberly-Clark Corporation to commercialize the cultivation of aquatic biomass, such as algae, as a feedstock for bioplastics.
Lunch will be served for 50 on a first-come, first-served basis, but all are invited to stay for the panel discussion. A tour of the Olis manufacturing facilities will follow the panel discussion, with transportation to Bogart provided for a limited number of people. Those interested in the Olis tour must register beforehand at the following webpage: thinc.uga.edu/calendar. Simply click “Olis, Inc. Tours” and fill out the required fields at the bottom of the page.
The panel discussion and tour of Olis are part of Thinc. at UGA, a new initiative that promotes entrepreneurship and fosters economic development in the region by providing inspiration and advice to those contemplating a plunge into the competitive and exciting world of entrepreneurship.
Thinc. at UGA kicks off with Entrepreneurial Week, March 22 – 29. The week-long celebration includes lectures, workshops, panel discussions, competitions, and networking events that promise to engage, inspire and build the confidence that will help take business ideas from concepts to reality. Events will showcase entrepreneurial efforts by UGA faculty, students and alumni, and provide insights from nationally recognized entrepreneurship experts. For more information about Thinc., and for a complete schedule of events, please visit thinc.uga.edu.