Life scientists considering career options may want to look into biotechnology entrepreneurship. How would your career be different if you started your own business instead of working in industry or academia? A major difference between biotechnology entrepreneurship and biology research is that a product or service is created and commercialized for profit. Both the world and the inventor benefit from the invention. The following are among the most commonly repeated reasons (other than profit) that life scientists and women offer for starting a business:
Reasons life scientists create biotechnology startups
- Follow your passion, solve a particular problem, or make the world a better place.
- Gain satisfaction from taking your idea or discovery and turning it into a product or service that makes a difference in people’s lives.
- Enjoy a dynamic work situation full of interesting challenges.
- Be in charge and answer to yourself rather than others, with the opportunity to design your ideal workplace and schedule.
Reasons women create startups
- Work on something you care about or enjoy a lot, bring a change, and make a difference.
- Break glass ceilings you have encountered that limited your work, use skills and abilities more fully, without the limitations of an employer.
- Be able to earn a more substantial income.
- Work in a situation that allows you to fulfill other responsibilities.
- Achieve success according to your own definition of success.
- Re-enter the workforce at a level appropriate to your skills after a career break.
- Receive appropriate credit and compensation for your work.
- Lead a project and be the one making the decisions.
- Experience a dynamic, challenging, exciting, and rewarding work situation.
The information in this section will challenge life scientists to learn more about whether entrepreneurship might be the right path for them and learn more about themselves in the process. Life scientists considering the possibility of entrepreneurship need to learn what being an entrepreneur is about and what it takes. For example, it helps to have a vision you believe in. It takes determination and hard work.
To explore this possible career path, it helps to understand how prepared you are to be a successful entrepreneur, what mindset tends to work best, and what skills you might need to develop. However, it is also true that different personalities can take different approaches and still succeed in entrepreneurship. It also helps to learn the potential career pathways you can follow to entrepreneurship and learn from examples of other life scientists who have made the transition.
A successful biotech entrepreneur summarized key requirements for founding a successful life science startup:
Get a great idea for a product or service with strong scientific merit.
There must be a potential market, interest, and support for it.
Find mentors who have gone through the process, but filter out bad advice and get second opinions.
Look for multiple sources of funding.
Protect yourself and your product legally and financially.