Lab to Market

June 24, 2014
by Amanda Edelson

I am going to be very honest – I have been dreading my return to Lab to Market this quarter since we ended part one of the course in June.  I know that it is a central feature of Rady’s MBA program, but I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur.  I have always wanted to work in a big company with fancy amenities and a steady paycheck.  Nothing about the startup lifestyle ever appealed to me.

Still, coming from the sciences, I am interested in innovation, and was fortunate enough to attend the Israel Immersion Program in December, which focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship.  My favorite part of the trip was hearing entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to us.  I was instantly excited when I heard an idea that was meaningful to me, especially one for which I could be a customer.  It was inspiring to hear these individuals speak about their ideas.  They were clearly very passionate about them, and would not let anything get in the way of pursuing their startup. 

I brainstormed for the next month, trying to think of a Lab to Market project, and finally someone proposed an idea he had been thinking about: textile recycling.  The company would collect worn clothes that would otherwise be thrown out, tear them up, and recycle the material.  My eyes lit up when I heard that idea.  I don’t like to waste anything, and I had just thrown a garbage bag full of clothes in the trash.  I felt guilty, but knew that no thrift store could ever sell the old, worn out clothes.  This business idea seemed perfect, and I instantly knew that was what I wanted to work on.

Lab to Market is now one of my favorite classes.  I love this project, and since I enjoy it, I am spending a lot of time on it and constantly thinking of new strategies and angles.  People always say that you will succeed if you do work you are passionate about, and now I definitely find that to be true.  Going through the Lab to Market process, we also learn valuable skills that can be transferred to a job in a big corporation, like evaluating partnerships, conducting market research, and generating different marketing strategies.  So, I may not follow this project past graduation, or even until the end of the quarter, but it has definitely opened my eyes to the fact that entrepreneurship does not have to be the daunting experience that I had anticipated.

I am Amanda, an MBA student in Rady’s Full-Time 2014 class.  I have a background in biology and am interested in marketing in the biotechnology industry.