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Science Entrepreneur to present about the “Wayward Path To Success” at Leaders Speak Series


Entrepreneur and founder of Terra Biologics, Michael Ott, will present “The Wayward Path To Success” on Wednesday, November 2 at 6:00 p.m. in the Musco Technology Center on William Penn University’s campus. Ott’s presentation will highlight lessons he has learned while starting new ventures. He will discuss why making mistakes is acceptable when trying something brand new, because it leads to new innovations and a better path forward. Ott’s presentation will be the third installment of the 2016–17 Leaders Speak Series.

“Education is supposed to be about broadening our horizons and understanding the issues of today. One of the dangers in life is thinking whatever your opinion is, is right. If you’re really going to be successful and make a difference, listening to other individual’s viewpoints that are different than yours and understanding why their viewpoint is like that is key,” said John Ottosson, President of William Penn University. “Overall, I think coming to this speaker series can help individuals grow in their knowledge and form their own solid opinions and become more secure in their actions so that they can become successful.”

Ott is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Nidus Investment Partners and the founder of Terra Biologics, a startup that uses algae to enhance plant productivity. Nidus Partners is a technology commercialization partnership focused on energy and agriculture. Over the course of his career, Ott has raised $150 million for various companies and has been the first employee at six startups. Ott’s work has focused on economically viable projects that are also environmentally sustainable. He has worked in several countries, including Ireland, Brazil, Ukraine and India, and his talk will include stories from those trips and insight from his experiences trying to turn scientific ideas into commercially viable businesses. Ott graduated from Simpson College and has a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Iowa.

The Leaders Speak Series is an annual initiative that reaches out to the community with diverse leadership-based themes. This year there are six scheduled speakers that will expand on this year’s theme: “Regenerate: planting ideas for generations.” The theme focuses on motivating students and community members to become more active and be a part of the changes they want to see, whether that is in their own lives or in the community.

The event is free and open to the public and can also be streamed online at

For more information, contact:
Lauren Abbas
Digital Communication Graduate Assistant
William Penn University
(641) 676-3400 |







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