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Issue 18, 2015
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High-tech businesses are the driving force behind global knowledge-based economies. Academic institutions have positioned themselves to serve the high-tech industry through consulting, licensing, and university spinoffs. The awareness of commercialization strategies and building an entrepreneurial culture can help academics to efficiently transfer their inventions to the market to achieve the maximum value. Here, the concept of high-tech entrepreneurship is discussed from lab to market in technology-intensive sectors such as nanotechnology, photonics, and biotechnology, specifically in the context of lab-on-a-chip devices. This article provides strategies for choosing a commercialization approach, financing a startup, marketing a product, and planning an exit. Common reasons for startup company failures are discussed and guidelines to overcome these challenges are suggested. The discussion is supplemented with case studies of successful and failed companies. Identifying a market need, assembling a motivated management team, managing resources, and obtaining experienced mentors lead to a successful exit.

Graphical abstract: Entrepreneurship

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The article was received on 26 May 2015, accepted on 22 Jul 2015 and first published on 06 Aug 2015

Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/C5LC00577A
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Lab Chip, 2015,15, 3638-3660

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    A. K. Yetisen, L. R. Volpatti, A. F. Coskun, S. Cho, E. Kamrani, H. Butt, A. Khademhosseini and S. H. Yun, Lab Chip, 2015, 15, 3638
    DOI: 10.1039/C5LC00577A

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