Startup incubators at universities

Yesterday, I stumbled-upon a piece by Matt Welsh whose fundamental point resonated strongly with me:

“The academic research process is incredibly inefficient when it comes to producing real products that shape the world. It can take decades for a good research idea to turn into a product—and of course most research never reaches this phase. However, I don’t think it has to be that way: We could greatly accelerate the research-to-product pipeline if we could fix the academic value system and funding model.”

In the piece, Welsh argues that academic researchers should do more with their research code (and ideas) than throw them away shortly after getting published. Instead, he suggests that universities should offer startup incubators to allow the best ideas to be refined and flourish. (How this extends to non-applied research areas I am not sure, but that is a story for another day.)

On a somewhat-related note, I leave you with some recommendations from Silicon Valley entrepreneur Eric Ries on applying the principles of lean startups to higher education.