I have had a good opportunity to begin a start-up that would be providing SaaS to Universities. The start up is not related to my PhD topic, other than it also relies on my programming skills. As it has reached an inflection point it has started taking about 5 hours a week to manage it, but I can easily put those hours in by working a different schedule (Late or at weekends). I have a co-founder which means if a busy time hit in the PhD they could take more burden temporarily.
My university is very supportive of start-ups with several different initiatives and programmes to ensure this happens.
Early on in my PhD I asked my supervisor about how I should be spending my time during my PhD and they said I should keep side projects to my personal time and devote the working week to the PhD.
- 1st Year PhD student in UK
- Funded by UK Research Council
- Had idea for project during undergraduate.
Other Questions related
Is it possible to work on extra activities (start-up project) during PhD? : Very in favour of proceeding but advises caution if not in related field.
Responsibility/ethics of startups during graduate studies Quite against the idea if it is not related field. Also asks about disclosure but does not answer regarding how to do this.
This idea has been pitched to people who are on a similar managerial level and could mention it to my supervisor. They have thoroughly got behind the idea and want me and my co-founder to develop it. I would rather tell my supervisor myself than them find out 2nd hand but am conflicted by the universities stance on supporting entrepreneurship versus my supervisor encouraging me to focus on the PhD for normal working time.
I'm aware that somewhere down the line the start up could take off meaning I might have to go part time, if allowed. Should I mention this?
How should I go about bringing up the start-up to my supervisor?