Science to business

Target audience

More than 80% of the PhD researchers pursue a career in industry, start their own company or work in the public sector. This workshop is useful to all of these career paths. Participants are taught to understand the business context and the customer or user point of view. This gives them a high-level business perspective on their research and technology. They are offered a unique and personalized approach that will prepare them to be one of the technology leaders, innovation agents or welfare architects of tomorrow.

In the past the Opportunity Recognition Workshop of iMinds (which was the predecessor of Science to business) has lead to multiple spin-offs at several universities.
No foreknowledge is required. The workshop is of beginners level when it comes to entrepreneurship. They need to have a technology, model or any other piece of intellectual property coming from their research to be able to take part in this workshop.
It is open for researchers and postdocs from all doctoral schools, however chances are high that participants will have a technical background.


The Science to Business (S2B) workshop is a short program for researchers and scientists that teaches you to create value from your own research and technology, and takes you on a journey to discover commercial applications or services. It is the ideal first step to look into the market potential of your research.


In the workshop the participants will see theoretical concepts such as value proposition, customer segmentation, customer needs and pains, business models, technology push vs market pull, pitching techniques, …
In the hands-on workshop they will learn and apply tools such as the research canvas, the opportunity identification canvas, the value proposition canvas, the business model canvas and various pitching techniques. These will all be applied on their personal research topic.
During the dragon’s den (pitching session in front of investors) they will receive valuable feedback about the next steps that need to be taken before going to the market.


During the workshop participants will gather the following skills:

- awareness and ability to exploit the potential of your own research

- understanding the value creation process in a very early stage

- the ability to think about your sector's opportunities from different angles (e.g. customer, marketing, business)

- the ability to apply research know-how to build solutions for problems

- how to recognize business opportunities and exploit them

- obtain the necessary pre-business planning skills

- develop more entrepreneurial skills (presentation skills, customer and user focus).

Tentative programme

  • 2 March – 20 April: Subscriptions are open & communication of the program
  • 27 April: participants receive feedback whether they are in or not
  • 4 May: Online preparatory program opens on Ufora
  • 16 June 2020: Workshop day 1: research canvas & opportunity identification
  • 17 June 2020: Workshop day 2: value proposition part 1 (product side)
  • 18 June 2020: Workshop day 3: value proposition part 2 (customer side + linking them)
  • 19 June 2020: Workshop day 4: pitching & dragon’s den with investor jury


ONLINE course


  • Jolien Coenraets Affiliation: Ghent University – DO! Contact details: Jolien Coenraets has a Master of Science in Computer Science Engineering and has years of experience in coaching and guiding starting entrepreneurs to build their company at Ghent University – DO! and in her former start-ups. She is involved in several teaching activities in workshop settings, lifelong learning and education.
  • Steve Stevens Affiliation: Ghent University – DO! Contact details: Steve Stevens has a Master of Science in Economics and has years of experience in coaching and guiding starting entrepreneurs and existing companies to flourishing businesses. He has facilitated tons of workshops and intensive programs during his time as coach at HoGent Center for Entrepreneurship, at Ghent University – DO! and at his own company ‘Building between bridges’. He is involved in several councils and boards as an expert in entrepreneurship in the Ghent / Flemish region.
  • Koen Vriesacker Affiliation: Noventus Contact details:
    Engineer with an MBA and experienced coach in the scale-up scene with a PhD on the drivers of organisational networks on the way, Koen is keen on rolling up his sleeves to get your collaborative ventures right on track. Though his "wanderlust" regularly sets this lifelong learner on his way to exploring new destinations , he upholds his motto "the journey itself is the destination". Being a team player, he makes sure to get all hands on deck and shows the crew how to trim their sails to make sure they can turn even the hardest corner .


see website:

Teaching material

Learning track on Ufora including video’s, text, reference materials, handouts of the workshops and sessions

Evaluation criteria (Doctoral Training Programme)

100% attendance