Personally, I find it very satisfying to play a small part in helping a new business grow from the kitchen sink to a manufacturing plant with products on the supermarket shelf. When working with academics, my advice to start-ups is:
- Be open with academics about what you want to solve – often they can solve the unexpected.
- Academics enjoy teaching and love a keen student (wherever they are from). Learn as much as you can by asking questions, and read up from books and literature.
- Set clear goals when specifying a project and make sure you understand which parts of a project are exploratory and which parts can be achieved.
- Expect to receive regular presentations to review progress and a final report.
(Email me if there is any advice you think I have missed!)