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Providing Resources To Help Start-Ups Succeed

The American Chemical Society revamps and extends a pilot program to support budding chemical entrepreneurs.

Just a few years ago, Patrick Kearney found himself in a place that is painfully familiar to many chemists. When his position as a senior director of medicinal chemistry at a San Francisco Bay Area biotechnology company was eliminated in 2011, he entered a challenging job market feeling as though his career had stalled.

Eager to find another career path, Kearney made a decision to pursue a longtime dream of starting his own contract research organization (CRO). He was acting on a promising business idea that had come to him during one of his job interviews.

As he sought resources to help him take that leap of faith, Kearney learned about the American Chemical Society’s Entrepreneurial Initiative, a program to support ACS members who would like to pursue starting and operating their own businesses. At the time, it was a new two-year pilot program, and he wasted no time in applying to be a part of it. Read more.

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When Start-ups Hit Patent Roadblocks

"What’s important to know about a patent is that it simply gives you an opportunity to defend yourself in a court of law. Get it out of your mind if you think it will keep you out of court."

Judy Giordan and Mark Vreeke (cofounder of the Chemical Angel Network), contribute thoughts on patents to Chemical and Engineering News in Mark S. Reisch's article When Start-ups Hit Patent Roadblocks. Reisch discusses patent disputes between chemical company Evonik Industries and start-up firm Materia. 

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Why Bragging Is Good For Women

Judy's thoughts on why bragging is good for women, especially women in STEM, was published on the Huffington Post blog on July 29, 2013. In the article, Judy shared some of her tips as a woman in STEM on how to stand up and proudly declare your achievements: 

  • Take charge of your confidence and your conversation.
  • Find ways to brag that fit your style and still share the facts.
  • Be enthusiastic.
  • Or try my personal favorite, the pride angle.

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Women in Industry

Judy's thoughts on obstacles for women in science were published in the C&EN article Women in Industry on August 26, 2013. Judy notes that women are too reserved in talking about their accomplishments and thus rarely gain the clout held by marketing and sales people.

“We are not the ones who will jump up and down,” Giordan tells C&EN. “We are trained to publish and give talks. That is how you get your point across.”

She also points out that women hesitate to speak up or take credit, in fear of seeming aggressive.

“It is false modesty. If you have the solution to the problem and you don’t open your mouth about it, whose fault is it that the problem wasn’t solved?” 

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Chemical Angel Network Funds Chemistry Start-Ups

Judy is quoted in the October 22, 2012, Chemical & Engineering News article "Chemical Angel Network Funds Chemistry Start-Ups" by Marc Reisch.

Reisch discusses the recently founded Chemical Angel Network (CaN), which specializes in providing seed capital for chemistry-related start-up companies.  Judy is the co-founder of CaN along with Mark Vreeke and Sid White.  In the article Judy points out that while chemistry is essential for many biotechnology, pharmaceutical and energy-related start-ups, "chemistry is not a buzzword today that people love.”  But the time is right for chemistry-related start-ups, and investing in these will help spur the US economy as well as develop the technology we need for a better future.

Innovation as King Is Dead. The Day of the Innovator Has Arrived

Judy Giordan and Joseph Steig co-authored a May 18, 2011 article on Xconomy.  In "Innovation as King Is Dead. The Day of the Innovator Has Arrived" Judy and Joseph address the underlying issues challenging science and engineering innovation in the United States, and how these issues are of vast importance for the economy, the nation and ultimately the entire world. They recommend a path forward for business leaders, scientists and engineers to work together on "...transforming the Valley of Death into what it truly is: a Time of Brilliance..."!

Entrepreneurs help the next generation learn from their life lessons

Judy and Joseph were featured in an article in Mass High Tech: The Voice of New England Innovation on March 30, 2011.  In "Entrepreneurs help the next generation learn from their life lessons" Judy and Joseph explain some of the key issues that scientists moving into industry need to consider.

Judy counsels that "You need to understand what markets can you get into what price points and how much will they buy." She also advises that people think about their market strategy - "People think about, 'Look at my exit strategy', and, 'Here's my 30-second pitch.' We've sort of trained people to do pitches and that's unfortunate."

Meet women in tech series: meet Judith Giordan

Judy was featured in an article in the Pittsburgh Examiner on September 24, 2010.  In "Meet Women in Tech Series: Meet Judith Giordan" by Tamanna Sultana, PhD, Judy gives three points of advice to women:

  1.       "You can do anything you want and don’t let anyone say you can’t;
  2.         when things are not working out and you know you have tried your best, take charge of your life and know when it is time to move on; and
  3.         be confident about yourself, know how much you need to do to achieve what you want to achieve and do it."

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What Researchers Who Want To Be Entrepreneurs Need To Know

Judy was quoted in C&EN's article "What Researchers Who Want To Be Entrepreneurs Need To Know" with advice to scientists seeking to become innovators. 

“The activity of commercialization is actually separate from doing science,” explained Judy. “Being an entrepreneur requires one to embrace both of these pieces. You can be trained and gain skills and vocabulary to be an entrepreneur, but whether a person can do the range of work required to be an entrepreneur, and feel comfortable doing it, is a different story.”

To read the full article, which includes further insights from Judy, click above!

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Why It Has to Be Women

Judy Giordan's article "Why it has to be women" was published in the Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) Magazine in the January/February 2010 issue. In the article Judy highlights data on how companies that include women in senior positions tend to do better than those that do not - there are tangible effects. Judy asserts that qualified women do exist for senior management positions, and companies need to acknowledge that this is the case "... this is not a zero-sum game in which every position taken by a woman is one lost by a male, but rather that corporate growth and viability is a tide that raises all boats and creates greater value and opportunity for all."