Entrepreneurial advice from MIT's Director of Technology: Lesley Millar-Nicholson | Techsauce

Entrepreneurial advice from MIT's Director of Technology: Lesley Millar-Nicholson

Lesley Millar-Nicholson, the director of technology at MIT looks into tech development and the basis of entrepreneurship through extensive research. Speaking at the Thailand MIT confrence, Lesley shed light on how MIT successfully impliments tech into an array of industries.

'Everyone can be an entrepreneur, even if you are not running or building a company.'

There are a broad range and spectrum of entrepreneurs that the majority of business-minded people fall into. 

Are you ready to take part in a startup?

Do you have an idea but not ready to open a business?

Are you an entrepreneur amplifier?

Are you a researcher and developing products?

Are you interested in Venture Capitalists, financially stabilising companies?

There are so many aspects of entrepreneurship. MIT is always researching and looking for new ways to facilitate and grow entrepreneurship.

There are so many layers to strong ecosystems and MIT has over 85 initiatives and startup programs that are all key to helping get technology into the market.

MIT's responsibilities are rather large in terms of solving the world's problems through innovative startups that develop technology that solves real problems.

Security, energy, food and water are vital for generating a cleaner, more eco-friendly environment, for all its inhabitants.

As MIT has substantial, financial backing we are able to do an abundant and vast research costing around $21 billion in developing technological solutions, strengthening ecosystems and growing businesses.

We have around 11 patons within the MIT centre now. We have over 8 issued patons.

The technology that we have developed first has to be researched in the market to see if it is needed and how it will firstly fit into the market, its position and will it be well received. MIT has an extensive portfolio of trial and error products and proof of concept that is rigorously tested to enable its development. Ultimately we will be able to licence them the technology once its officially been accepted. 

An example of MIT’s research, timescale and technological developments are collaboration commonwealth fusion systems. 



This specific area of research is looking into the Plasma fusion division of the MIT centre - this technology and department have collected a lot of data since the late 1970s and look for serious breakthroughs in this field. 

A key factor is knowing your market, know your business model and do as much research is the most important thing into helping your tech startup launch successfully. Marketing is also really important, you can't just rely on existing customers. Troubleshooting and listening to what your clients need and what the clients in the market are in need of will ensure business development.

Lesley Millar-Nicholson

Director, MIT Technology Licensing Office

Lesley Millar-Nicholson has been the Director of MIT Technology Licensing Office (TLO) since July 2016. She leads a team of professional staff managing the intellectual assets and tech transfer process for MIT inventions. Located in Kendall Square the TLO is responsible for engagement with faculty, staff and students and for the efficient and effective transfer of IP into the marketplace to ensure impact in society. Working with MIT startup companies, VC’s and corporate partners the team manage around 800 inventions a year from the MIT and Lincoln Lab campuses. Prior to arriving in Cambridge Ms. Millar-Nicholson had served for ten years as Director of the Office of Technology Management (OTM) at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign. Ms. Millar-Nicholson is the 2017 President of the Board of Governors of Certified Licensing Professionals Inc, (CLP Inc.) an active member of AUTM and the Licensing Executive Society. A native of Scotland, Ms. Millar-Nicholson has a B.Ed., M.Ed, MBA and is a Certified Licensing Professional.


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