Not every life scientist wants to start a device or pharmaceutical manufacturing company and sell to a major device or drug manufacturer. Perhaps you are interested in a computer/mobile phone application for health purposes. If so, there may be the opportunity to pursue your entrepreneurial interest in parallel with your research. That is, perhaps you don’t have to give up your research career while you are investing the viability of your entrepreneurship interests.
In fact, even for a life scientist interested in marketing a device or pharmaceutical, it may be advantageous to conceive of a technical application to test the waters and develop business and entrepreneurship skills without the complexity of equity arrangements and complex financials. Imagine it as a simple Y-Combinator type training to hone your entrepreneurship credentials.
For any potential enterprise, you need to first:
- Get your thoughts organized regarding product, customer, customer need, and value added
- Gather feedback to refine the idea
- Assess the financial viability regarding costs and competition
- Develop a plan to market the idea
- Test the market to see if it is viable
A reward crowdfunding site matches up with these steps:
- For a life scientist with entrepreneurship interest, a crowdfunding campaign focused on providing a reward versus giving equity is an excellent way to take on Step 1.
- Once complete, you can easily proceed to Step 2 and present the enterprise concept to others. Your thoughts can be easily inspected and commented on by others to make further improvements and gather support.
- The process will force you to investigate how much money you need and what you would charge. That’s not a complete financial analysis, but it is a useful part of Step 3.
- Crowdfunding emphasizes Internet marketing, and for today’s products, social media focused marketing is your most effective strategy to accomplish Step 4.
- Finally, the site can perform Step 5 where you obtain qualitative and quantitative input as to the value of the potential enterprise.