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Mentor Comments on Peter Bai

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Entrepreneurs need to juggle many tasks, so we provided Peter with responsibilities across a broad range of activities to give him a realistic impression of what is involved during the startup phase of a technology-driven company. We determined that Pete’s interests would be maximized by leveraging his knowledge to make contributions in functional areas where he had no training. He spent most of his time this summer outside of the lab – at Cornell and at places he visited in Cambridge and NYC…

It became clear early on that Peter needed little supervision. We started him working on instructional CDs to help him understand the IP protection process, and then asked him to help us prepare for provisional patent filings by identifying prior art. Preparing patents for prosecution requires the highest level of intellectual input, and Peter is well qualified to help us in this area as evidenced by his strong academic record and work habits. ..

Peter also prepared a first cut at a business plan for a newco we are forming to pursue a specific healthcare application of silica nanoparticles. It was a good exercise for him to see how the various pieces fit together in a plan. The output was no mere exercise, however, as we are building off his work to finalize a plan and to contact funding agencies dedicated to the disease category…

HST had twice as many people in the lab this summer as the prior year, so we needed help to formalize cross training of new employees. Peter’s experience made him very effective in a knowledge transfer role. He prepared videos of lab protocols and uploaded them to HST’s YouTube account. The videos are professional in style and appropriate for the subject matter. Our company co-founder Uli Wiesner, appreciates them also, so we are making them available to his research group at Cornell. Peter has excellent time management skills, so there was time for additional tasks: aggregating price data of competing nanoparticles to prepare HST for website sales, researching permits needed for our new lab in Cambridge and even designing a T-shirt in our first annual design competition for summer students…

It was a full summer! We were delighted to have Peter be such an active part of our team, and thank the Kessler Fellows Program for making it possible (we had formerly only hired graduate students ... for temporary assignments, but are now open to working with undergraduates.)

—Kenneth Wang, President, Hybrid Silica Technologies