Kauffman Foundation Taps First Postdoctoral Entrepreneurship Fellows

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has announced the selection of thirteen scientific researchers as its inaugural Kauffman Postdoctoral Fellows.

Through entrepreneurship education and mentoring, the yearlong program will help the fellows commercialize their scientific discoveries. In addition to providing a salary and benefits to each researcher over the course of the fellowship, the foundation will match each fellow with an academic advisor and an experienced investor or corporate leader to serve as mentors.

While many of the forty-eight thousand postdoctoral researchers in the United States are doing cutting-edge scientific research, few understand the basics of the commercialization process. "[As a result,] the critical role that scientists play in the economy has been compromised," said Lesa Mitchell, vice president of Advancing Innovation at the foundation.

Kauffman will fund twelve of the fellows, while the thirteenth, Timothy Marzullo, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan, will participate in the program with support from the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan, a consortium of ten Michigan foundations that have joined forces to revitalize the state's economy.

"The work being done by each fellow has enormous potential to benefit society," said Mitchell. "By teaching the fellows how to become scientist-founders, we hope that the fellowship will serve as a springboard into the market, helping these innovators fulfill their potential."

For a complete list of this year's postdoctoral fellows and their university affiliations, visit the Kauffman Foundation Web site.

"Kauffman Foundation Announces First Class of Postdoctoral Entrepreneurship Fellows." Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Press Release 08/05/2009.