In Jumping To (False) Economic Conclusions, Austin Parker reminds his readers that changing one’s pursuit is all about perspective. Ask yourself, Am I blaming my situation on other people? Am I looking at others and seeing them as examples of successful change or as evidence that the challenge is so great that I will never succeed?
He also brings up the important topic whether business is good or evil. Who wants to go into a field of crooks unless one is already crooked? Sure, there was Enron, but do you shop on Amazon? Do you use a smartphone? Who provides your news? The second perception to challenge is that business is bad.
In this blog and others, let’s attack the idea that the mountain between you and entrepreneurship is too high to climb.
First of all, who wants to climb Mt. Everest on their own? Who would make it to the top without the Sherpas, much less the folks who take you to the top, those in the base camps, and the ones tracking the weather? No, you are never going to be able to climb the entrepreneurship mountain alone, and you would be a fool if tried (and, in the case of Everest, dead).
Luckily, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) wants you to climb that mountain. The government is on your side. The NIH 2016–2020 strategic plan specifies a goal to “fuel the US biomedical industry and keep our nation globally competitive.”1 To achieve this aim, the NIH understands that it must overcome challenges to maximize the return on biomedical research investment2, 3 and foster the transformation of health science innovation into commercial products.4 That means they are there to help you.
The NIH’s SBIR program is a proven means for investigators to obtain rapid and substantial funding in a
relatively short term. I emphasize Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding due to the. . .
- plethora of support opportunities
- ease of the process
- your familiarity with academic grant writing (vs. business planning)
- NIH’s strong support for the SBIR program
Possible NIH resources include the following:
- Annual HHS SBIR/STTR conference [link is to 19th annual conference]
National SBIR/STTR conference collocated with the TechConnect World Innovation conference
- SBIR/STTR application process infographic
- Life science contacts by state
- NIH technical assistance programs including the following:
- Niche Assessment Program to SBIR and STTR Phase I Awardees
- I-Corps at NIH – PA-16-414
- NIH Commercialization Accelerator Program (CAP)
- Commercialization Readiness Pilot (CRP) Program (PAR-16-026, PAR-16-027)
NIH-Wide Strategic Plan. Natl Inst Health NIH. October 6, 2015.
Eisenstein Michael. Assessment: Academic return. Nature. May 5, 2016;533(7601):S20–S21. doi:10.1038/533S20a.
Macilwain Colin. Science Economics: What Science Is Really Worth. Nature. June 10, 2010;465(7299):682–684. doi:10.1038/465682a.
Wapner Jessica. Technology transfer: The leap to industry. Nature. May 5, 2016;533(7601):S13–S15. doi:10.1038/533S13a.
Photo Credit: The image “Climbing through the Yellow Band, Mt. Everest, May 2007” (22 May 2007, 800 × 600 [282 KB] jpg) was taken from Brian-Everest photos Photo 44 of 51 by Lloyd Smiths. This file is licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.