The Next Hot Entrepreneurs: Science PhDs

Biotech is the industry that is attracting the most venture capital dollars, according to the latest stats from the National Venture Capital Association. So wouldn’t it make sense that science PhDs could be poised to become the 21st century version of the Google Guys? Meaning, pursuing a science PhD or an MD in 2009 could be the right training for an inventive entrepreneur, parallel to studying computer science in 1999.

At least that’s the thinking behind new fellowships being granted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The organization announced today that it’s awarding 13 postdoctoral researchers the financial and mentorship support to commercialize their scientific findings.

I met recently in New York with Lesa Mitchell, the Kauffman Foundation’s vice president of Advancing Innovation. “The economic recovery will happen through entrepreneurship, which can help fuel growth,” she said. “We want to help build a pipeline between PhDs and MDs and VCs.”

The thirteen Kauffman Foundation fellows are (after the jump):

• Ankit Agarwal, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Vijay Chandrasekharan, University of Florida • David Gruber, Brown University, City University of New York • Yash Kolambkar, Georgia Institute of Technology • Riccardo LoCascio, University of California, Davis • Timothy Marzullo, University of Michigan • Samuel Mazin, Stanford University • Franklin Moutos, Duke University • Christopher Rex, University of California, Irvine • Carolina Salvador Morales, Harvard Medical School • Praveen Kumar Vemula, Harvard Medical School • Yevgen Voronenko, Carnegie Mellon University • Mehdi Yazdanpanah, University of Louisville

Extensive biographies are available on the Kauffman Foundation site. Smart companies and investors will pay attention to their work, if not only to recruit them directly, but also to seek new markets in biotech.

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