For me, entrepreneurship is a unique way of looking at the world. Once you train yourself to seek opportunities in the form of problems that need solutions, you can’t go back. I became an entrepreneur to make a difference. I co-founded LaunchCyte and we now have a portfolio of five companies which have commercialized university technologies into products in the life sciences and technology markets. I make my home in Pittsburgh and am proud to be integral to the regional startup scene.
In my role as director of the Big Idea Center at the University of Pittsburgh’s Innovation Institute I work with early-stage entrepreneurs daily. I coach and mentor, pushing students – at all levels, freshmen to post-doc, from across campus, in all disciplines – to the next stage of startup development, pulling them to reduce risk, and guiding them along the entrepreneurial journey. I wrote Startup Briefs targeting first-time entrepreneurs to let them know what I wish I knew when I was starting on my own startup pathway. During 20-years of running Carryer Consulting, I have worked with hundreds of companies and startups to grow their businesses. I am a co-founder of Women In Bio-Pittsburgh and am now on the board of the national Women in Bio.
“Can you really teach entrepreneurship?” I am often asked. “I don’t know,” I answer, “but I know that I can unleash the entrepreneur within.” I’ve taught entrepreneurship for close to 20 years at Pitt, formerly at Carnegie Mellon, to all kinds of students, from freshmen to doctors to scientists. I teach experiential education around innovation and entrepreneurship in my role at the Big Idea Center. I developed and ran the Fulbright “Lab to Market” seminar program for the 120 Fulbright scholars in the U.S. who selected the innovation and entrepreneurship track. I develop curriculum and teach entrepreneurship at Ascender, a regional accelerator. Before Pitt, I spent 15 years at Carnegie Mellon University, helping to start and grow the university’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through teaching entrepreneurship, as embedded entrepreneur for Project Olympus, and as innovation advisor for the Institute for Social Innovation. Previously, I was director of deal flow at for BlueTree Allied Angels and director of training and faculty development at VentureWell. I travel to places like Chile, Portugal, Turkey, Algeria and Brazil to teach entrepreneurship. I am lucky to teach a subject I love.
Living on a sailboat full-time is where I’m heading on our sailboat Ibis (Beneteau 373). My husband, Tim Carryer, and I have sailed in Greece, Italy, British Virgin Islands, and the Chesapeake. Last summer we sailed across the Atlantic (Bermuda to Azores to Lagos, Portugal) on our friend’s Hylas, Amari.