We asked life sciences entrepreneurs for advice on how to prepare for success as an entrepreneur
Question: What advice would you give to a scientist in the life sciences who wishes to prepare to create a biotechnology start-up:
A male biomedical and pharma entrepreneur responded:
- “Become a world’s expert as a graduate student in a field in which you have identified a severe, unmet, medical or scientific need.
- Work as a postdoc at a biotech start-up or an academic lab that has spun-out a business or two. This is where you will find mentors. A female life scientist who completed a few years as a researcher in a start-up confirmed, “Working in a start-up is one of the best ways to learn how to launch a start-up of your own.”
- Volunteer to help your mentor review and write SBIR/STTR grants and accompany your mentor to meetings with venture companies where he/she makes pitches in front of potential investors.”
An early biotechnology female entrepreneur working on her Phase II SBIR proposal responded:
- Energy and enthusiasm are key.
- Form strong partnerships. They will help you move from one technology readiness level to the next.
An early biomedical technology entrepreneur working on his Phase II SBIR proposal:
- Have a high tolerance for failure; view it as a learning experience. He had 3 submissions not funded before his first SBIR was funded. Continue to apply; be persistent.
- Have many relationships to maximize opportunities for resources, learning, and collaboration. Engage advice from experienced peers and agency representatives.
Consolidated from multiple webinars for entrepreneurs:
- Get a business coach.
- Write a one-year plan and set goals for each quarter.
- Having a highly eclectic background helps. Try to learn many aspects of the biotech industry.
- For women, connect with groups that support women entrepreneurship, in the sciences, or as leaders. Example: WeCanRise, a community with the goal of lifting up and accelerating women in leadership positions.