Oregon Bio has launched an occasional series called Voice of Academia and today, we’re bringing Part 2 (see Part 1 here) of our talk with University of Oregon professor and faculty member at the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, Keat Ghee Ong, Ph.D. Dr. Ghee launched the Ong Lab as well as Penderia Technologies, Inc. and here, he explains his work starting up:
Q: How has Knight Campus programming supported your efforts at commercialization?
A: The Knight Campus support has been incredible. It has formed a network of technical and business experts in and out of the University of Oregon. This network has provided me with valuable advice and guidance. Furthermore, it provides scientists like me with workshops in commercialization and communications. Together with other faculty members, we hone our ability to describe our work as part of the Knight Campus mission, which centers on accelerating the transfer of discoveries into technologies that impact human health. The Knight Campus also provides resources on how to access early funding and business strategy for startups.
A: We formed a corporation earlier this year. Since then, we have achieved the early milestone of feasibility validation, and are currently in prototyping stage. With the help from Knight Campus, we are also seeking additional funding to expand our company, getting ready for the next stage. The great thing about being at the Knight Campus, is there is support every step of the way. The Knight Campus has incubator and innovation spaces so ultimately my company would have the option to rent lab space and access the amazing facilities to jumpstart its growth.
Q: What excites you most about the future of Knight Campus and the University of Oregon?
A: We’re opening a great and amazing building. It’s world-class. But that’s not what excites me the most.
Beyond what I described about the possibilities for growth about my company, what I look forward to most about being in Oregon is the spirit of the people here – kind, forward-thinking, and fearless of failure. My team will continue to meet and learn from the tremendously talented faculty who are already at the Knight Campus, as well as colleagues around the state and those we’re recruiting from around the world.