For me, entrepreneurship is a 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 successful portfolio of companies which have commercialized university technologies into products in the life sciences and technology markets. For many years my home was Pittsburgh, where I helped to build the regional startup ecosystem.
I am recently retired from being director of the Big Idea Center at the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. At Pitt I worked with early-stage entrepreneurs daily, from freshmen to post-docs to alums across the entire university. I coached and mentored students to reach the next stage of startup development, pushing them beyond their comfort zones, pulling them to reduce risk, and guiding them along the entrepreneurial journey. I wrote Startup Briefs to let entrepreneurs know what I wish I knew at the beginning. During more than 25 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 taught entrepreneurship for over 25 years at Pitt and Carnegie Mellon, to all kinds of students, from freshmen to doctors to scientists. My classes are experiential and interactive education where the students drive the ship. I help them demystify, inspire them, I guide. 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 developed curriculum at Ascender, a regional incubator. I’ve taught entrepreneurship internationally in Algeria, Brazil, Chile, Portugal, and Turkey.
I am currently embarking on a major adventure, living aboard our sailboat, Ibis, a Beneteau 373, with my husband, Tim. We plan to sail from our cottage on the Chesapeake to the Caribbean. We have sailed in Greece, Italy, British Virgin Islands, and the Chesapeake. In 2018 we sailed across the Atlantic (Bermuda to Azores to Lagos, Portugal) on our friends’ Hylas 46, Amari.