Puumiehenkuja 5, 02150 Espoo
How to access business opportunities as a researcher while staying employed at the university?
Working in the university as a researcher can be an amazing intellectual challenge and a rewarding experience. Unfortunately, the reward isn’t often monetary. Compared to running a successful spinoff company or simply working in the private sector, the pay one gets from research can be very lackluster.
However, there is a solution that can combine the best of both worlds. You can utilize your position at the university to access opportunities for strong side streams of income. Over time, those streams can even heavily outweigh the income you get from your research job.
It is possible to focus on what you love — your research — while still having a comfortable economic situation.
To understand these opportunities better, we’ll have a talk with Professor Risto Ilmoniemi from Aalto University, Ghita Wallin, the founder of MIMIR Fellows, and Dr. Zeeshan Asghar, a researcher-turned-entrepreneur who now works at Nokia.
After the talk, you have the opportunity to chat with the speakers who can give you specialized tips on how to make money with your research.
From Lab to Market event series is organized by Aalto Ventures Program, VTT Launchpad, Aalto Startup Center, and Aalto Innovation Services. The events are hosted by Rasmus Basilier, CEO of The Authentic Content Company.
Meet the speakers
Distinguished Professor at Aalto University
Risto Ilmoniemi is a distinguished professor of Applied Physics and the head of the Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering at Aalto University. He has a passion for fostering an entrepreneurial mindset and founded the startup Nexstim in 2000 to commercialize his research findings. In the 1980s, Risto developed new technology for brain research which led to the founding of Neuromag, but he chose to continue his research at the university. He believes that being entrepreneurial means seeing problems as opportunities and offers four tips for anyone in a university setting: test new ideas, seek inspiration from peers, pursue new visions, and be persistent.
Founder at MIMIR Fellows, PhD Candidate
Ghita became interested in the grand challenges of sustainability during her graduate studies at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. She realized that while financial investments are important, it is ultimately people and communities that drive technological advancements and change. After completing her Master's degree, she gained experience in building communities and rallying support at Slush. Now, as she works on her doctoral thesis at Aalto, Ghita aims to redefine how research is brought into society. She is currently leading the initiative MIMIR, which aims to establish the Nordics as leaders in research commercialization with student involvement.
Muhammad Zeeshan Asghar
Senior System Specification Engineer at Nokia
Dr. Muhammad Zeeshan Asghar has expertise in the fields of telecommunications and software, dedicating the last 15 years to research, development, innovation, and business growth within the telecommunications industry. Presently, he holds the position of a Senior System Specification Engineer at Nokia. Prior to this role, he secured 0.5 million euros in funding from BusinessFinland to bring his research on AI/ML-powered self-organizing 5G networks to the commercial market. His contributions extend to multiple publications in esteemed wireless communication journals, and he has played a significant role in the creation of numerous patents. His mission is to establish technological leadership by employing innovation, business development, strategic planning, research, and envisioning the future of 6G technology.