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Q: What do I need to learn to become a nanotechnology entrepreneur? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: What do I need to learn to become a nanotechnology entrepreneur?
Category: Business and Money > eCommerce
Asked by: chilebean-ga
List Price: $6.00
Posted: 04 Jul 2002 21:36 PDT
Expires: 03 Aug 2002 21:36 PDT
Question ID: 36661
What do I need to learn to become a nanotechnology entrepreneur? Is
there any training I can get to learn about nanotechnology.
Subject: Re: What do I need to learn to become a nanotechnology entrepreneur?
Answered By: fugitive-ga on 04 Jul 2002 22:26 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

This is a very broad question that could go in a number of different
directions. This is one of those areas where there is too much
information, and our task is one of filtering, rather than one of
seeking and finding.

I'm going to recommend specific sites from which you should be able to
get the information you need regarding nanotechnology and
entrepreneurship. Eventually, you'll need to phrase such a question
more specifically in order to get a more specific answer.

Just to make sure we have a common baseline, I'm going to start with
the definition of the term, nanotechnology:

     Nanotechnology (from the About Physics Dictionary)

"Definition: The development and use of devices that have a size of
only a few nanometres. Research has been carried out into very small
components, which depend on electronic effects and may involve
movement of a countable number of electrons in their action. Such
devices would act faster than larger components. Considerable interest
has been shown in the production of structures on a molecular level by
suitable sequences of chemical reactions. It is also possible to
manipulate individual atoms on surfaces using a variant of the atomic
force microscope."

To start, in order to pursue a career in nanotechnology, either as an
entrepreneur or as an employee of a firm specializing in this field,
you will have to pursue a degree in computer science specializing in
this field. There are quite a few institutions of higher learning that
offer degree programs that specialize in nanotechnology. If you search using the following terms:

     nanotechnology degree programs

you'll turn up several of these programs. For example, Michigan
Technical is one among many institutions offering graduate degrees in
many aspects of this field of study. They list specifically:


   Engineering Physics (PhD) 
   Environmental Engineering (MS) 
   Forestry (MS) 
   Master of Engineering (MEng) 
   Materials Science and Engineering (MS, PhD) 
   Mathematical Sciences (MS, PhD) 
   Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (PhD) 
   Mining Engineering (MS, PhD) 
   PhD in Engineering—Computational Science and Engineering (PhD) 
   Physics (MS, PhD) 

Note that there are many different directions and subfields one can
pursue with regards to this technology. That will be a recurring theme
for answering your question. That is, you'll have to decide (or
specify) which subfield of the technology you wish to pursue.

Here is a list of three more programs in this rich field (and there
are lots more if you search as recommended):

     Penn State University (NSF Nanotechnology Center)

     Arizona State University

     University of Washington (PhD program in nanotechnology)

You should probably identify institutions in your geographic area, and
to which you are qualified to attend, in order to pursue such a
degree. If you wish clarification for a specific area, level of
education, or specific subfield of nanotechnology, don't hesitate to

Lest you think this field is restricted only to those pursuing PhD's
in this specialized field, there are initiatives to develop education
at other levels. The Philadelphia Business Journal recently reported
that 1.3 million dollars was raised in order to develop Philadelphia
into a hub of nanotechnology expertise. What's interesting is that
they address such things as Associate Degrees in this field. See:

     $1.3 Raised to Aid Nanotechnology

You may wish to subscribe to Nanotechnology Magazine, one of the best
general publications covering this field, including entrepreneurship.
You can also peruse their web site here:

     Nanotechnology Magazine

The web site for this magazine is an excellent overall resource for
looking at the social, economic, educational, technical, etc. aspect
of nanotechnology.

A search of with the following terms (enter all
punctuation as indicated):

     "Nanotechnology Magazine" +entrepreneurship

or the broader search (again, keep all punctuation as indicated):

     +nanotechnology +entrepreneurship

will turn up a number of web sites with relevant postings to
"entrepreneurship" and the field of nanotechnology. One of the
interesting sites I uncovered doing the broader search above was:

     Entrepreneurship 101

which appears to be a "cheatsheet" on entrepreneurship by LARTA, "the
think tank for technology businesses." I would recommend exploring
this web site HIGHLY.

A good site for learning the ins and outs of entrepreneurship in
general is at:

     Entrepreneurship Centre

Entrepreneurship is a rich and broad subject area in the field of
business. There is no single "how to" for engaging in
entrepreneurship. Often, acquiring a Masters Degree in Business
Administration (MBA) is an academic requirement.

It is also (once again) dependent upon the specifics of your business.
For example, do you wish to develop nanotechnology, or do you wish to
produce nanotechnology devices? The differences between development
and manufacture make a huge differenc in how an entrepreneur does

You're probably going to have to focus on some specific aspect of
nanotechnology (for example: agricultural uses; medical uses; computer
manufacture; etc.) in order to be an entrepreneur in this field. All
of the sites I've cited above should aid you in doing this.

In summary, you'll need a degree in computer science or engineering in
some subset of nanotechnology. You will need either an MBA, or
equivalent experience, to become an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur,
you will also need some kind of financing. Honestly, you'll also need
some luck!

Again, should you need clarification in any specific area, don't
hesitate to ask!

chilebean-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Foresight Institute. and business tips
From: ulu-ga on 05 Jul 2002 01:50 PDT
The Foresight Institute has been a long-standing key organization in
furthering nanotechnology.  This year they will be holding the 10th
Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology.

This page will provide you with additional information about degree
"Foresight Nanotechnology FAQ for Students"

This 1999 reports lays out a road map with many avenues for growth.
"Nanotechnology — A Revolution in the Making Vision for R&D in the
Next Decade; Draft - Executive Summary"

From the 8th conference, "Open Sourcing Nanotechnology Research and
Development: Issues and Opportunities" by Bryan Bruns

For some business tips:

Hire people smarter than you.  (You don't need the degree in nanotech,
but they do). (#45)

The people who get rich in gold rushes are the ones who find a large
nugget and get out, own a gold vein, do what others don't want to do,
or the ones who sell the tools and services to the miners.

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