Career Corner: Have You Been Bitten by the Entrepreneurship Bug? | AIChE

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Career Corner: Have You Been Bitten by the Entrepreneurship Bug?

Career Corner

Entrepreneurship is not for wimps — the hours are long, pay is often irregular, vacations are short or nonexistent, and stress levels are high. Dedication to your “great idea” may be to the detriment of your relationships and, ultimately, that idea could turn out to be a dud. On the other hand, you get to be your own boss, pursue your vision, and apply your skills and expertise to build something you and others value. Your success is tied directly to your efforts.

Kurt Schneider is one chemical engineer who left the corporate world and never looked back. “Working a nine-to-five job for the first 20-plus years of my career, I found that the rewards didn’t fit the effort,” he says. Schneider started his consulting practice, Tech Bridge West, in 2005 and has worked with clients from all over the world. “There have been struggles, but there have also been great years. The variety of projects is something I never would have seen in corporate America,” he says.

While consulting is one area in which engineers can practice entrepreneurship, Keerthan Vantakala took a different approach. Vantakala, like Schneider, did not feel fulfilled in his corporate role. He wanted to create and grow something organically. He founded 6C Solutions and is using his skills and expertise to develop an artificial intelligence solution to improve chemical facility productivity and profitability. For Vantakala,...

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