The following list is compiled from characteristics found in 10 lists found online via a search for “personality traits of successful entrepreneurs” and selecting the 10 most recent. Most lists were formed by asking successful entrepreneurs what personality traits they consider essential. The list is in order with the trait mentioned most often at the top:
- Creative (6)* – Refers not only to new science and product ideas but also creative ideas for dealing with challenges. (See #2)
- Flexible (6)*
- Risk-taking and good at managing risk (5)*
- Self-motivating (5)
- Visionary and good at communicating vision (5)**
- Passionate (4)*
- Perseverent (3) *
- Pursuasive (3)
- Good networker (3)*
- Confident (2), competitive (2), disciplined (2)
Characteristics for Successful Biotechnology Entrepreneurship: An asterisk in the list above signifies a characteristic identified in a list specifically about biotechnology entrepreneurship. These lists also mentioned that an understanding of the biotech industry and its unique challenges is also essential.
Tip: Working at a biotech startup or a series of biotech companies in different positions, sometimes referred to as intrapreneurship, is one way to learn about biotech entrepreneurship.
Alfred L. 12 Characteristics & Personality Traits Great Entrepreneurs Share. Hubspot.
Biolyse. 4 Must Have Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs. Biolyse. August 22, 2018.
Bortz D. 9 Qualities of an entrepreneur Monster.com
Brennan P. Defining a Successful Biotech Entrepreneur. Grit Daily. Nov 17, 2020.
Conkle B. 10 Personality Traits That All Successful Entrepreneurs Share. Jeff Bullas. Win at Business and Life in a Digital World. January 16, 2021.
MacRae A. 10 Common Traits of an Entrepreneur. Startup Nation. September 26, 2021.
Patel S. The 5 Personality Traits All Entrepreneurs Must Have. Entrepreneur. August 21, 2017
Minority Business Development Agency (MDBA). 8 traits of successful entrepreneurs–Do you have what it takes? U.S. Department of Commerce. September 2006-August 2020.
Shimasaki C. 6 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs. Biosource Consulting. July 24th 2018.
Walsack J. Entrepreneurs Reveal the 6 Personality Traits That Make Them Successful. December 8, 2020.
What personality characteristics get in the way of advancing in science or entrepreneurship?
When we asked a focus group of 6 women graduate students in life sciences this question, they identified a personal style of excessive “niceness” as sometimes working against them, leading to other scientists taking advantage of them. They also identified being hesitant to ask for help as a career detriment.