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Press Coverage We've Received

Stanford University News, April 5, 2012

At your service: Stanford's entrepreneurship concierge

"Participating in SEN is extremely important to our group," said Keren Ziv, co-president of the Association of Industry-Minded Stanford Professionals, an organization supporting post-doctoral scholars. "We are slowly changing the current view of post-docs as 'scientists only.'"

Read more here

Stanford Entrepreneurial Network, February 28, 2012

Are You An Entrepreneur? E-Week Workshop Focuses on You

AIMS member, Hyejun Ra (co-president), introduced the event and the two speakers, Eaton and John Gillespie-Brown, a CEO Founder of several companies, angel investor and a mentor at Stanford Engineering and Business Schools, who discussed qualities that make entrepreneurs successful and debunked common myths about entrepreneurs.

Read more here

AIMS Co-Founders meet with Stanford President Hennessy (Dec 2011)

Irfan Ali-Khan, Wall Street Journal (at 49:00)


Stanford GSB-PRIE Expereince: Navaline Quach


The POSTDOCket, the National Postdoc Association (NPA) Newsletter, Summer 2011

Entrepreneurial Postdocs Start Association of Industry-Minded Stanford Professionals (AIMS)

While two-thirds of incoming Stanford postdoctoral scholars intend to pursue a career in academia, less than one-third of these scholars actually end up obtaining an academic position. In addition to increased competitiveness of the academic job market, this shift in career path may be explained by increased awareness about exciting careers beyond the classic academic field. The innovative nature of fundamental research, the myriad of applications it can produce, and exposure to the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial environment have influenced postdocs to consider alternative career options, one of which includes making a transition from science to business in order to transform research ideas into business ventures.

The Association of Industry-Minded Stanford Professionals (AIMS) was founded in August 2010 by three postdocs – Irfan Ali-Khan, PhD; Stéphane Boutet, PhD; and Navaline Quach, PhD – who recruited additional members to create the AIMS leadership team: Vice President of Mentoring Pushkar Joshi, PhD; Michael Kertesz, PhD; Arno Kourula, PhD; Mambi Madzivire, PhD; Jordan Plews, PhD; Hyejun Ra, PhD; Shiming Xu, PhD; Keren Ziv, PhD; Webmaster Andrew Razgulin, PhD; and Professional Communications Coach Mary Etta Eaton, MS. AIMS is the first postdoc-entrepreneur association at Stanford and has organized ten monthly events to date, providing education, networking, and mentoring opportunities to postdocs who wish to pursue a career in industry, with a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship.

In just under a year, AIMS has organized a wide spectrum of events. With nearly 2,000 Stanford postdocs, of whom 50 to 100 attend AIMS events on a regular basis, the group estimates that a non-negligible proportion of Stanford postdocs are interested in entrepreneurship and envision creating their own start-up.

While AIMS seminars are open to the public and attract on average 120 registrants per event, AIMS small workshops are limited to 25 selected applicants and provide mentorship opportunities from successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists (VC). AIMS recent speakers have included Tim Draper, MBA (Founder of the VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson), and Konstantin Guericke, MS (Co-Founder of LinkedIn). Deliberately, almost half of AIMS speakers are former postdocs –including Stephen Fodor, PhD (Founder of Affymetrix), and Christopher and Pamela Contag, PhD (Co-Founders of the bio-imaging company Xenogen) – providing key insights into the advantages and challenges faced by scientists who transition from academia to business.

In June, AIMS successfully organized a pilot entrepreneur-challenge, in which three Stanford postdocs presented their science-based business ideas to a panel of investors. In order to further bridge the chasm between science and business, AIMS will be hosting Peter Reiss, PhD, Professor of Economics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) and co-Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (CES), who will present GSB programs that promote innovation and entrepreneurship for which postdocs can apply.

The success of AIMS relies on partnership with the School of Medicine Career Center as well as sponsorship from the Stanford Career Development Center, the Office of Technology Licensing, the BioX Program, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) and local VC firms. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, directed by Rania Sanford, EdD, has been particularly supportive of the AIMS initiative by communicating AIMS’ efforts to the Dean of Stanford School of Medicine, Philip Pizzo, MD, and by informing Stanford postdocs about AIMS events. In April 2010, Dean Pizzo indicated the importance of informing postdocs about non-academic careers. He also applauded the AIMS initiative in the March 2011 Dean’s Newsletter, voicing support for this postdoc-initiated program.

Irfan Ali-Khan, PhD; Stéphane Boutet, PhD; and Navaline Quach, PhD; are Postdoctoral Researchers at Stanford School of Medicine and Co-Founders of AIMS.

Access the full text article here, pp3-4.

SoM Dean's Newsletter, March 21, 2011

From Postdoc to Innovator

Dr. Rania Sanford, Assistant Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs, informed me of an exciting interactive forum sponsored by the postdoctoral leadership of AIMS (Association of Industry-Minded Stanford Professionals) in collaboration with the School of Medicine Career Center (see: Dr. Sanford noted that on the evening of Wednesday, March 16th, over 120 postdocs gathered at the Clark Center to hear Chris and Pamela Contag's advice in a talk titled "From Postdoc to Innovators." The Contags, who co-founded Xenogen, gave an informative and lively talk, by invitation from AIMS, a new postdoc group with interest in entrepreneurship and industry (

Many postdocs find themselves at a career juncture and wonder how to recognize and pursue the opportunities that might be available to them across a spectrum of life-long possibilities. AIMS and the Career Center have initiated informative programs by bringing to campus several of our former postdocs, now successful industry leaders and venture capitalists, to share their wisdom and insights with our current trainees. In addition to thanking the Career Center I want to also acknowledge some of the postdocs who have helped to launch AIMS, including Irfan Ali-Khan, Navaline Quach, Stéphane Boutet, Mambdidzeni Madzivire, Andrew Razgulin, Michael Kertesz, Keren Ziv, Tobi Schmidt, Hyejun Ra, and Shi Ming Xu. Look for future programs.