The following tips on how to plan a successful biotechnology startup are from several highly successful biotechnology entrepreneurs.
Tips on Selecting an Optimal Biotechnology Business Location
Biotech companies are usually located in a few locations, such as Raleigh–Durham, San Diego, San Francisco, Boston, Austin, etc. They tend to form where there is a “critical mass” of scientists and venture capitalists interested in biotech. These locations have organizations that can provide extensive training in the skills you’ll need, such as the Center for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) and NC Biotech Center in Raleigh–Durham. Most states have support for biotech startups, which is a good place to start.
Tips on Planning Your Founding Team
Consider having a cofounder who understands commercialization well and can give it the time it needs.
If you will play a major role in your business, go full-time as soon as possible. Otherwise, hire someone to handle the business side for you.
Surround yourself with a team you enjoy being around. You are going to be spending a lot of time with them.
Tips on Hiring Consultants and Professionals
Ask for help to get started and continue to get help as you progress. Aside from getting advice, you’ll build a network that is useful later, such as when wanting an introduction with someone who could be helpful.
Consult an accountant with small business and SBIR funding experience if you are applying for that source of government seed money.
Invest in a good lawyer who specializes in this field. They will need experience in life science startups and businesses, government funding, intellectual property, licensing, and obligations to investors. Attorneys are needed to help set up the company, identify and record your obligations, and deal with intellectual property, licensing, and matters pertaining to investors’ rights.
Tips on Funding
Get used to asking for money.
Biotech startups with excellent ideas in currently hot science fields can start striking deals with investors at a very early stage.
Tips on Product Development
There will be many changes from your original idea to your final product. You may have to make some product adaptations to meet regulatory criteria and market interests. The product also needs to be something people need and want enough to buy.
While it is important to stay focused, keep in touch with emerging technologies and scientific discoveries to understand their opportunities and challenges.