During my PhD studies in 2009, I embarked on a journey from South Africa to the United States in search of potential opportunities. While I was open to a postdoctoral position in the US, I also seized the chance to attend the Food and Health Entrepreneurship Academy at University of California Davis. The registration and boarding costs for the program were covered, and I only needed to arrange my own transportation.
The academy was scheduled to take place in February 2010, so I returned to the USA in February, as I had to go back to South Africa in January 2010.
Attending the academy proved to be a transformative experience for me. It introduced me to the concept of innovation, emphasizing the fusion of creativity and entrepreneurship. I learned that as researchers and PhD graduates, we have the potential to convert our research into profitable startup ventures. While my initial intention was to explore job opportunities in the United States, it became clear to me that America was indirectly encouraging me to become a job creator and an innovator instead. I am grateful to UC Davis for instilling the seed of innovation in me over a decade ago.
To those who are reading this, I want to convey the message that you have the power to create and bring about positive change. Believe in yourself and embrace the opportunity to make a difference.
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