You’ve been working and studying so hard for so long, and you’re looking forward to finally making some serious money. There’s never been a better time for academics to start an online business. Web tools and trustworthy platforms are in abundance for all types of businesses across sectors, and it’s anyone’s game to play, especially experts in their fields. 

There has been some criticism about start-up companies using academics to their advantage, that is, not paying for the high-level skills. The perfect solution is that the academics start the business, meaning the skill and qualification is at the root of the project. 

There are many questions you need to answer in order to hone in and develop your idea. What is your area of expertise? What can you bring to the table? What platforms and markets can you use to your advantage?  Think about how you see yourself running a new startup. 

Cloud solutions are transforming how businesses work and leaving the gate open for new solutions and ideas. Academic tech startups are hot right now, from medical devices to AI-driven tools and apps.  Outside of tech and science, there is a new trend in affiliate sales and coaching. Creative roles in photography, videography, and writing are becoming more valued, giving opportunities for freelancer businesses and larger service platforms.

This all sounds very exciting, right?  But what’s that one thing you need to get you and your idea off the ground?  Capital. It’s out there, but it will take a lot of research, and dedication to your idea, to get going.  

Firstly, network, network, network!  More and more universities and academic arenas have entrepreneur networks and groups. Talk to people, attend conferences,  and find out about available grants and important entrepreneur competitions. All the time you’ll be developing your strategy and deciding the direction of your new company.  The Global Start-Up competition is one to watch, with worthy rewards for winners in various categories including Clean Energy, Health and Food & Agriculture.  

CB Insights claims that the most well-funded start-ups in Tech are in Latin America where $5.7B has been funded to hundreds of deals since 2012.  Brazil is expanding its ecosystem infrastructure and offering great tax incentives to startups. Columbia Start-Up 2020 is set to break ground with top-level innovative ideas and eager investors. In the U.S. some of the most keenly watched startups for 2020 are genetics, food saving, and new financial solutions. 

There’s no doubt that now is the time to go for it! The market is open and welcoming.  If you have the time, drive and commitment it’s all within your reach. Good luck and Carpe diem

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