Life Sciences Entrepreneurship
Careers In Life Sciences Entrepreneurship
Biospace – a news source and job information for the Life Sciences Industry
- Could You Start a Life Sciences Business? – Article by Katherine Hansen, PhD in Biospace, September 24, 2019.
Careers at Biotech Startups and in Entrepreneurship – Article by Susan Froshauer. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology. 2017
An Overview of Biotechnology and the Biotech Industry –Published by Thoughtco
Starting a Life Science Business
The Key to Successful Entrepreneurship in the Life Sciences –Technology Translation Director at Wyss Institute, Angelika Fretzen, Ph.D., M.B.A., describes the key to successful entrepreneurship in the life sciences and the skills needed to build effective companies.
Research to Revenue: A Practical Guide to University Start-Ups: A Book by Rose D and Patterson C.
Examples of Organizations Important in Life Sciences Entrepreneurship – A Biostartupadvice Resource providing links to local examples of organizations and offices that support life sciences entrepreneurship at the local, university, and state level
How to Start and Grow a Life Sciences Company – Practical Advice for Start-up Companies & Incubators – A book by the Life Sciences and Technology Group at Ballard Spahr LLP. (Advice for later stages).
Life Science Entrepreneurship Education
A number of universities provide an Entrepreneurship focus within their life science-related Master’s programs. This paired learning allows life scientists to get a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial process.
- MS in Biotechnology – Entrepreneurship Track (Georgetown)
- MS in Biology – Entrepreneurial Biotechnology Track (Case Western)
- Master of Translational Medicine (UC Berkely / UC San Francisco)
- Biotechnology Master’s Degree with Biotechnology Management Specialization (University of Maryland – University College)
- Master of Biotechnology Enterprise and Entrepreneurship (Johns Hopkins)
- MS in Biotechnology – Biotechnology Enterprise Concentration (Northeastern University)
- MBA – Biotechnology & Innovation (Husson University)
- Master of Business and Science – Multiple Concentrations (Rutgers)
- MS in Translational Research – Entrepreneurial Science (University of Pennsylvania)
- Graduate Certificate in Technology Commercialization and Entrepreneurship (UNC)
- Graduate Certificate in Life Sciences Innovation and Entrepreneurship (University of Missouri)
- Biomedical Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate Program (University of Michigan – for enrolled graduate students only)
Finding A Mentor
Why mentoring is important in biotech careers – article by Don Potochny, published in BioSpace, 8/22/2019.
SCORE – A nonprofit association of volunteer business counselors who provide free education for small business owners in-person, online, or in workshops. Available by business type and locally.
Student Biotechnology Mentorship Program – Successful biotechnology professionals are paired with students to explore career opportunities.
Women In Bio Mentoring Programs – Women in Bio offers several opportunities for obtaining mentoring: Mentorship, Advisors, Peers, and Sponsorship (MAPS) discussion groups, university outreach, and virtual programs as well as a 1:1 Mentoring program.
Government Funding and Resources
National Institute of Health (NIH) Support for Small Businesses
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Funding SBIR/STTR – These seed funds from the NIH for small businesses are obtained by the scientists by writing grant proposals and submitting them for review in a competitive process. These funds have the advantage over other seed fund sources of having 0% equity, which means you still own 100% of your company.
- SBIR/STTR Tutorial – Includes Agency Introductions and Solicitations, Finding Topics, Registration Requirements, Patents, and many more topics.
- SBIR/STTR Resources
- SBIR/STTR Application Process – Infographic, includes information on 5 registrations required for your business, electronic submission, scientific review, the funding process, commercialization.
- Grant Solicitations for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Targeted Funding Announcements
- Speak directly with an HHS SBIR/STTR program manager at least a month BEFORE the deadline to gauge their interest.
- NIH Matchmaker can be used to conduct keyword searches of a particular topic area to identify NIH Institutes or Centers (ICs) that have previously funded research in that area.
- SF 424 (R&R) PDF Guide Application Guide for SBIR/STTR Grant Applications)
- Annotated SF424 SBIR/STTR Form Set
- Applicant Assistance Program helps small businesses write and submit Phase I grant proposals through coaching. Aims to help under-represented groups, which are women, minorities, and certain states, achieve SBIR/STTR funding. Must be established as a business with no previous funding. Only for certain NIH institutes: NCI, NINDS, NHLBI, NIA.
- NHLBI Small Biz Hangout – 20 Videos on Starting Small Biotech Businesses. Selected Videos:
- NHLBI Small Biz Hangout: Perfecting Your Pitch – YouTubem.youtube.com › watch45:50
- NHLBI Small Biz Hangout: Identifying and Connecting With …m.youtube.com › watch58:54
- NHLBI Small Biz Hangout: Demystifying Small Business …www.youtube.com › watch59:57
- NHLBI Small Biz Hangout: Reimbursement Basics Hangout …www.youtube.com › watch59:27
- NHLBI Small Biz Hangout: Taking Care of … – YouTubewww.youtube.com › watch50:59
- NHLBI Small Biz Hangout: Medical Device Regulation …m.youtube.com › watch58:00
- NHLBI Small Biz Hangout: Product Development Support …www.youtube.com › watch24:17
- NHLBI Small Biz Hangout: Taking Care of Business – Managing SBIR/STTR Grants- UCLA CTSIctsi.ucla.edu › cai › events › view
National Science Foundation (NSF) Program for Small Businesses
Funding for Small Businesses – NSF offers contracts through their Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) and seed capital for early stage product development through America’s Seed Fund SBIR and STTR programs.
- America’s Seed Fund – SBIR and STTR
- Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)
- NIH VS. NSF. Primary Differences and Proposal Development Strategies – (Written from a from a biomedical/bioengineering perspective)
- Project Pitch Contents
- Project Pitch Submission Portal
NIH Support for Commercialization
The following NIH funding opportunities support commercialization at various stages of the development of your product and business.
- Niche Assessment Program (NAPS) is an NIH Program for current Phase I awardees to support an understanding of their market including potential applications for the technology, needs and concerns of the end-user, competition, barriers to market entry, potential commercialization partners, and price that customers will pay.
- Technical and Business Assistance (TABA ) provides administrative and general management consulting services to SBIR/STTR awardees in the form of a needs assessment and report on commercialization areas from a life science industry perspective. Administered by the SBIR/STTR programs at a number of funding agencies, including NSF and many at NIH .
- Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) NIH program that “provides funding, mentoring, and networking opportunities to help commercialize” biomedical technology. Program lasts 8 weeks and is comprised of 24 teams. Intended to support the transition to Phase III.
- Commercialization Accelerator Program (CAP) is a 9-month NIH program intended for Phase II/IIb awardees to help them “establish market and customer relevance, build commercial relationships, and focus on revenue opportunities available to them.” It provides individualized assistance toward accomplishing key commercialization goals.
- Commercial Readiness Program is an NIH program that supports the transition for Phase II to Phase III, that is, to go from being SBIR-funded to the marketplace. Provides training in developing tailored market entry strategies, build strategic partnerships, develop FDA regulator and reimbursement paths, create financing strategies, and understand intellectual property.
- Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hubs of research institutions and federal and private sector partners were created by the NIH to expedite translation of “biomedical discoveries into commercially viable diagnostics, devices, therapeutics, and tools to improve patient care and enhance health.”
Other Government Resources
- Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) – FLC is a national network of “over 300 federal laboratories, agencies, and research centers that fosters commercialization best practice strategies and opportunities for” technology transfer to the marketplace, reaching commercialization goals, and achieving the impact of innovative technologies. FLC works through providing resources, education and training, tools, and services.
- Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAS), government investigators in federal laboratories, such as NIH investigators can collaborate with industry or academia in order to facilitate technology transfer into marketable products.
US Patent and Trademark Office
USPTO – Check early to make sure your intellectual property is protected.
- Demistifying the Patent System – Toolkit and resources for inventors.
For Women Scientists
Support for Women Entrepreneurship
National Women’s Business Council
NWBC ‘Grow Her Business’ Resources is a collection that supports women entrepreneurs’ commitment to growing their businesses.
- Accelerators and Incubators
- Alternative Lending Programs
- Business Competitions
- Crowdfunding Websites
- Entrepreneur Matchmaking
- Entrepreneur Mentor Groups
- Executive Education and Training (Non-Degree)
- Industry Clusters (Networking Opportunities)
- Membership Organizations
- Supplier Development Programs
- Technical Assistance
- Venture and Seed Funding Networks
SheEO allows women entrepreneurs to pitch their idea for potential funding. Selected entrepreneurs spend the weekend together and get to know one another before dividing up the capital they have been given.
Girls In Tech
Girls in Tech – This organization is an accelerator for all women in tech-related fields which provides networking meetings, trainings, competitions, funding, and opportunities for community involvement.
Support for Women in Sciences
- Women in Bio – WIB is “an organization of professionals committed to promoting careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship for women in the life sciences.” Find local chapters to join, mentoring, career support, and more. See their “Entrepreneur Center” which supports female founders of life science companies from early start-up to later stages.
- National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) – Search NCSES data for data information on education and employment on Women, Science, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering
- Rosalind Frank Society – Seeks to enable more women to attain leadership positions in academia, industry, and government.
For Minority Scientists
Support for Minority Entrepreneurship
Minority Business Development Agency
- MBDA is a government agency for growth of U.S. minority businesses via educational and business resources, including financial and globalization information.
- National Minority Business Council (NMBC) – The NMBC is a non-profit corporation that provides educational assistance, training, and networking opportunities for minority-owned businesses.
- Minority Chambers of Commerce – Advocacy groups for entrepreneurs, also offering networking opportunities and resources for growth and local and national chapters for African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians.
- The Marathon Foundation (TMF) – TMF hosts regional and national networking events to connect minorities to networks of professionals and maintains a database of deal opportunities for its members. Also sponsors entrepreneur education programs.
Support for Minorities in Science
- Minority Postdoc – This resource is a “web portal on the minority postdoctoral experience especially in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines.”
- National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering & Science, Inc. – GEM seeks to increase minority population participation in engineering and science at both the master’s and doctoral levels.
- Great Minds in STEM – GMiS “is a non-profit organization that focuses on STEM educational awareness programs for students from kindergarten to career.” (Formerly known as the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference (HENAAC))
- National Research Mentoring Network – NRMN is part of the NIH’s Diversity Program Consortium (DPC) and seeks “to enhance the participation and persistence of individuals from underrepresented backgrounds in biomedical research careers.”
Small Business Development
Small Business Administration
The SBA has many resources for starting a business, such as a learning center, acquiring SBA loans and grants, information on government contracts,resources by business type and locations, and the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program.
A good place to start is the The Essential Guide to Starting a Business
- Learning center – multiple courses available
- Writing a business plan
- SBA loans and grants
- Information on government contracts
Other Supports for Small Business Development
- Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) RESI is “an ongoing conference series establishing a global circuit for early-stage life science companies, active investors, and various service providers to meet, create dialogues and start relationships – ultimately moving science and technology forward.” Sponsored by Life Science Nation, which matches life science buyers and sellers.