The Turning Your Science into a Company course is open to ASM members and non-members at all levels. The course focuses on explorations in entrepreneurship and features practical tips, advice, and resources from principals of leading start-up and small companies as well as legal and regulatory experts.  

Date: October 6-8, 2016 
Location: ASM Headquarters, Washington, DC
Applications are accepted on rolling admissions until August 20, 2016.


  1. Step outside of your comfort zone. Leave the 'comfort' of academia behind for a few days and engage in entrepreneurial activities. A valuable opportunity to explore a new world and determine if it is a world you would like to explore further. Can you succeed as an entrepreneur? Is this the right fit for you?
  2. Learn to know what you don't know. Gain a high level overview of entrepreneurship that will allow you to take next steps of company formation. No one can be expert in all matters, but knowing what you don't know is a valuable tool in taking the leap into entrepreneurship. This program will set you up to take the leap to being an entrepreneur.
  3. Acquire Entrepreneur Vocabulary. Learn the language of being an entrepreneur, easing your transition from academia to entrepreneurship. Get exposed to a Company mindset.

Learning Goals

  1. Understand differences between academia and entrepreneurship
  2. Learn the importance of effective networking and relationship building
  3. Know what you don't know!
  4. Expand business vocabulary


  1. Elevator Pitch
  2. Initial Business Concept Feedback
  3. Connections to Peers and Mentors
  4. Starting a Company Primer (step-by-step guide)


This two and a half day entrepreneurship workshop provides basic information on establishing start-up businesses and utilizes examples from companies involved in biotechnology industries. Day 1 covers planning a start-up, day 2 covers executing the plan, and day 3 covers strategically exiting the business. 

Course Co-Conveners

IcenhourCrystalCrystal R. Icenhour received her doctorate in pathobiology and molecular medicine from the University of Cincinnati Medical School of Graduate Studies in 2002. She conducted postdoctoral research in the Thoracic Diseases Research Unit at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine (2002-2005) and the Department of Infectious Diseases at Duke University Medical Center (2005-2006). Icenhour has been involved in several local and national postdoctoral associations, including the Mayo Research Fellows Association Executive Committee (president), the Duke University Postdoctoral Association (membership committee chair), and the National Postdoctoral Association (2008 chair). From 2007 to 2013, Icenhour was president and chief science officer for Phthisis Diagnostics, a biotechnology company located in Charlottesville, Virginia. In 2014, Icenhour became CEO of Aperiomics in Ashburn, Virginia. Aperiomics’ focus is harnessing the power of next-generation sequencing to improve world health. 

Sylvia Mary

Mary Sylvia has nearly 30 years of experience in microbiology and patent law.  Trained initially as a molecular virologist, she focuses primarily on biotechnology and pharmaceutical patent law and the development of intellectual property strategy in both procurement and litigation settings.  As a former judicial clerk to Circuit Judge Raymond C. Clevenger III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Mary combines appellate practice with patent litigation strategy.  Having served as in-house counsel, as well as working in molecular biology and genetics labs prior to law school, she brings a unique perspective to her work.  She understands not only the technologies with which clients work, but the ways in which an intellectual property portfolio can add value from a business development angle.  Mary currently teaches as an adjunct at Georgetown University.  She also served as the first director of the University of Maryland School of Law's IP clinic and taught at American University Washington College of Law.

Workshop Site

The 2016 ASM Turning Science into a Company will be held at the ASM Headquarters at 1752 N Street NW, Washington, DC.

Sponsorship and Credentials

The ASM Turning Science into a Company is sponsored by the ASM Education Board. The ASM Education Board is a recipient of the 2000 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mentoring in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Education. The Board was recognized by President Clinton for its contribution to graduate education.

Turning Your Science into a Company Testimonials