Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

Many parents confront their college-age kids with the question, “What are you going to do with a degree in that?” If a few visionaries at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland succeed, physics majors can say, “Run a company.”

That’s the goal of the Physics Entrepreneurship master’s program just being launched in the Case physics department. “We want to empower physicists as entrepreneurs,” says Cyrus Taylor, program director and physics professor. The heart of the program is a thesis in which students focus on a new physics innovation as either the basis of a startup or the solution to a problem posed by a corporate partner. Similar programs exist for engineering and e-business entrepreneurs, Taylor says, but there is nothing like it in physics.

An encounter between physics chair Lawrence Krauss and businessman Robert Stieglitz three years ago led to a lecture series on physics entrepreneurship. Feedback from speakers, students and physics alumni persuaded Krauss and Taylor to turn it into a formal program to provide training that many physics alumni said they were forced to get in “the school of hard knocks.”

The first class will begin the two-year program this fall. “My bet is not only that we’ll succeed dramatically… but I think that it will become successful enough that it will become a prototype [for similar programs],” Krauss says.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Tagged: Communications

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me