Tony Williams, Ph.D.

Associate Director at Princeton's Office of Technology Licensing
Office Phone

Ph.D. Chemistry, The University of Oxford


After earning a PhD in chemistry from the University of Cambridge, I gained postdoctoral research experience in materials chemistry at the University of Edinburgh, and then at Princeton University in the laboratory of Professor Robert Cava.  Following an internship at an early stage venture fund, the Royal Society Enterprise Fund, I later earned an MBA from the University of Oxford, where I won a competitive fellowship to work for the university’s technology transfer office. Prior to starting at Princeton in February 2016, I worked as first an analyst, and then an associate on the Technology Ventures team at Imperial Innovations, at that time one of the UK’s leading investors in academic research-based startups, and also the technology transfer office of Imperial College London. 

For six years, I have served as the New Ventures Associate at Princeton's Office of Technology Licensing, where I am responsible for supporting Princeton researchers in all aspects of the development of startup companies to move their research innovations out of the lab and into the marketplace. As of May 2022, I am Associate Director of the office.

When I was a PostDoc at Princeton, I had a wonderful research experience but reached a career crossroads - I loved science and research, but I realized that my focus wasn't specific and deep enough for me to want to pursue a traditional academic career. Through some strategic planning, and a little bit of luck, I made the transition to working at the interface between academia and the commercial world - which I believe is a much better fit both for my skill set and interests. I've worked on both sides - as an early stage investor, and as a university staff member - but in either case, I've found it extremely rewarding; you get to learn about the most original, cutting edge ideas and innovations and then help to translate them into companies, and ultimately products and services that can have a real impact on the world. And at the same time, you get to advise, teach or mentor some of the most creative and innovative faculty, researchers and students and help them on their entrepreneurial journey.

The Office of Technology Licensing has for many years hosted a University Administrative Fellowship, and we are excited to continue to be a part of that program - giving graduate students a chance to gain hands on experience of intellectual property protection, technology marketing, licensing and spinout creation. 
We are also regular participants in all GradFUTURES programs connected with entrepreneurship, and are always happy to connect with any graduate student that is interested in learning more about what we do, or has questions on any aspect of the technology transfer process.

LinkedIn Profile