Recently, A/Prof Tara Murphy, from the University of Sydney's astro group, gave a talk on "Making the leap: from academic to start-up founder". In 2013, along with a colleague and two PhD students, she started Grok Learning, an online platform that provides computing education for school students, teachers and universities. Check it out!
Talk Abstract, Swinburne University of Technology – 23rd February 2017
My research is in radio astronomy, in particular in the dynamic radio sky, using intelligent algorithms to find rare objects in large datasets. In 2013, along with a colleague and two PhD students I took a leap into the unknown and started a company "Grok Learning" that provides online computing education for school students, teachers and universities. We now have thousands of users from around the world, and a team of 10 staff including the founders.
In this talk I'll discuss how our academic training (as astronomers and computer scientists) was helpful in the business world, but also the challenges you might face. How does running your own business compare to a job in academia? What astronomy skills are useful in the business world? What should you do if you're interested in starting a business?
I'm happy to leave plenty of time for discussion, so bring your questions!