By definition, to innovate means to create something new. To charter undiscovered territories. That’s what we do as researchers, but we do it in an academic context. As a final-year doctoral researcher, I was interested to explore how the skills and knowledge I’ve acquired over the course of my PhD could be channeled beyond the academy, in a commercial environment. Am I ready to handle the rigors and uncertainty of a starting a business? What are the key traits of a successful innovator, and do I have them?