Bio-Tech Industry Careers
- An Overview of Biotechnology and the Biotech Industry – Article published by Thoughtco.
- Careers at Biotech Startups and in Entrepreneurship – Article by Susan Froshauer. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology. 2017. Tip: Working at a biotech startup, or intrapreneurship, is one way to learn about biotech entrepreneurship.
- The top 10 Biotech Podcasts You Should Listen to in 2020. By C.R. Fernandez. 5/2020. On labbiotech.eu
Biospace – A news source and job information for the Life Sciences Industry
Finding A Mentor
- Why mentoring is important in biotech careers – Article by Don Potochny, published in BioSpace, 8/22/2019.
Mentoring Programs. Examples
- 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.
Support for Women and Minorities in Sciences
Research on Disparities in Grant Funding for Women and Minorities. Examples
- Hechtman LA, Moore NP, Schulkey CE, et al. NIH Funding Longevity by Gender. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. July 31, 2018;115(31):7943-7948. doi:10.1073/pnas.1800615115. PMCID: PMC6077749. PMID: 30012615.
- Hlavinka E. Female Surgeons at Back of Bus for NIH Grants. Medpage Today. December 9, 2020.
- RissleR LJ, Hale KL, Joffe NR, Caruso NM. Gender Differences in Grant Submissions across Science and Engineering Fields at the NSF. Bioscience. July 29, 2020;70(9):814-820. doi:10.1093/biosci/biaa072. PMCID: PMC7498325. PMID: 32973410.
- Sato S, Gygax PM, Randall J, Schmid Mast M. The Leaky Pipeline in Research Grant Peer Review and Funding Decisions: Challenges and Future Directions. High Educ (Dordr). October 3, 2020:1-18. doi:10.1007/s10734-020-00626-y. PMCID: PMC7532736. PMID: 33041361.
- Research for All. Nature News. November 19, 2015;527(7578):275. doi:10.1038/527275a.
- Hurtado S, White-Lewis D, Norris K. Advancing Inclusive Science and Systemic Change: The Convergence of National Aims and Institutional Goals in Implementing and Assessing Biomedical Science Training. BMC Proc. 2017;11(Suppl 12):17. doi:10.1186/s12919-017-0086-5. PMCID: PMC5773897. PMID: 31851727.
- Oh SS, Galanter J, Thakur N, et al. Diversity in Clinical and Biomedical Research: A Promise Yet to Be Fulfilled. PLoS Med. December 2015;12(12):e1001918. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001918. PMCID: PMC4679830. PMID: 26671224.
Organizations That Support Women and Minorities in Science. Examples
- 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.
- Association for Women in Science – Non-profit with a mission of supporting full participation of women and achieving equity in all disciplines and across all employment sectors of STEM (Science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and STEM. Includes support for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
- Rosalind Frank Society – National non-profit organization that seeks to enable more women to attain leadership positions in academia, industry, and government.
- National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) – 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.”
- 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) – GEM seeks to increase minority population participation in engineering and science at both the master’s and doctoral levels.
- Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) – 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)
Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities
- National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) – Search data information on education and employment on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering
Video: Great Women in Biotechnology
- Role of Women In Biotechnology – Short descriptions of some of the most accomplished women in Biotechnology by BQ Research and Development. Length: 2:30 mins.
Entrepreneurship – General Resources
Websites, Blogs, and Readings
- 19 Entrepreneurship Websites Worth Checking Out. On Lifehack.com
- The Best Blogs for Entrepreneurs You Should be Reading By Cloudways, an e-commerce website.
- Reading: “Founders Stories” Stories of biotechnology start-up founders who worked with the incubator/accelerator company IndieBio.co
- 5 TED Talks by Powerful Women Leaders That Inspire and Motivate – Advice for facing every kind of business challenge.
- Entrepreneur – Videos
- StartUp – “A show about what it’s really like to start a business.” By Gimletmedia.com
- Human Proof of Concept – “Takes an investor’s point of view into medical innovations”
- The Center for Advancing Innovation Podcasts – Podcasts from an accelerator for “publicly funded breakthrough technologies that benefit society.”
- Entrepreneur – Podcasts – A list of podcasts on entrepreneurship curated by Entrepreneur
Businesses Supporting Small Business Development. Examples
- The Balance Small Business – Support for starting any small business. Resources include “Entrepreneurship 101”, Obtaining Financing, Operations, Employment Laws & Taxes, Management
- Eva Garland Consulting – Support for companies to advance their developement of science and technology including obtaining funding.
- SBIR Land – Website with a collection of resources and discussion forums related to SBIR funding produced by Eva Garland Consulting.
- 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.
- Hutchison Law – Law firm with a focus on life sciences and technology businesses.
Biotech/Life Science Entrepreneurship
- Could You Start a Life Sciences Business? – Article by Katherine Hansen, PhD in Biospace, September 24, 2019.
- What is Bioentrepreneurship? – Article by Muhammad Hamza Afandi in Nuclineers, December 11, 2018.
- The Key to Successful Entrepreneurship in the Life Sciences – A short interview with Technology Translation Director at Wyss Institute, Angelika Fretzen, Ph.D., M.B.A., who 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 (book) – Rose D, Patterson C, Feldman, M (ed). The Luther H Hodges, Jr, and Luther H Hodges, Sr Series on Business, Entrepreneurship, and Public Policy. April 8, 2015.
- 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).
Organizations that Support Biotechnology Entrepreneurial Development. Examples
- NC Biotechnology Center – The mission of this regional accelerator is “to accelerate life science technology-based economic development through innovation, commercialization, education, and business growth…[by connecting] companies with university researchers and introduce entrepreneurs to potential funders.” Also provides a wide range of other support for biostartups.
- Launch Bio – A national nonprofit organization with regional organizations that support science and biotechnology companies, with an emphasis on high-impact, high growth companies.
Key Registrations to Complete for Your Business
- DUNS (Future UEI) – Establish your business as a unique entity by applying for a unique nine-digit identifier for businesses. Involves a 2-day turnaround. This will be replaced by a Unique Entity Identifier.
- System for Award Management – Register your business to do business with the government. This process can take 2 to 6 weeks.
- Small Business Administration Company Registration – Obtain a Business Concern Control ID (SBC ID) and access to the sbir.gov system. Takes 1 day.
- Grants.gov Applicant Registration – Explains the quick process of creating an account before applying for any funding through the government. Allow 2 days for registration to be completed. Includes identifying your organization’s E-business point of contact who will approve Authorized Organization Representatives who can submit proposals.
- Agency-specific registrations include:
- Employer Identification Number – Apply for your EIN so you can pay federal taxes, hire employees, open a bank account, and apply for business licenses and permits. If you pay state taxes, apply for a state number, as well.
- Coming up with ideas for biotech startups – Slide presentation by Bay Bridge Bio that describes frameworks to generate biotech startup ideas and ways to evaluate ideas. Length: 34 mins.
- How to start a biotech startup: 5 young VC-backed founders share their stories – Discussion forum sponsored by Bay Bridge Bio and held at UCSF in Feb 2020 with 4 young women and 1 young man biotech entrepreneurs. These first-time biotech founders describe how they started their companies and raised venture capital from top-tier VCs. Length: 1:45 hrs.
Top News on Bio-Technology and Startups by Start-up City – Includes national and international news.
Life Science Entrepreneurship Education
A number of universities provide an Entrepreneurship focus within their Life Science, Technology, or Medicine Master’s or Certificate programs. This paired learning allows life scientists get a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial process.
Life Science Entrepreneurship Masters Degree and Certificate Programs. Examples
- 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)
Certificate Training Programs
- 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)
Support for Women or Minority Life Scientist Entrepreneurship
For Women Entrepreneurs
National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) – A non-partisan federal advisory committee that provides advice and policy recommendations to the President, the U.S. Congress, and SBA on important issues for women business owners and entrepreneurs.
NWBC ‘Grow Her Business’ Resources is a collection that supports women entrepreneurs’ commitment to growing their businesses.
Selected NWBC Resources
- 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
NIH Webinar (Video) – Accelerating Innovation: Funding for Women Entrepreneurs in Biotechnology and Healthcare – Webinar co-hosted by NCATS, NHLBI, NCI, and the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) describes programs and funding opportunities and provides advice to support women-owned small businesses and women in research and technology transfer. Length: 1:19 hrs (*starts at the 6 minute mark)
Non-Government Organizations Focused on Supporting Women Entrepreneurs. Examples
- SheEO – 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 is an accelerator for all women in tech-related fields which provides networking meetings, trainings, competitions, funding, and opportunities for community involvement.
Videos – Advice From Successful Women Entrepreneurs in Biotechnology
- Karin Fleck Ted Talk – Founder of Vienna Textile Lab giving a pitch at ClimateLaunchpad.
- The real reason female entrepreneurs get less money | Dana Kanze – Ted Talk on funding
Women in Business – News about women entrepreneurs from Entrepreneurship an online magazine and source of other resources.
For Minority Entrepreneurs
Organizations That Support Minority Entrepreneurship
- Minority Business Development Agency – The 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.
Black Women Entrepreneurs – News about black women entrepreneurs from Entrepreneurship an online magazine and source of other resources.
Check these resources early to make sure your intellectual property is protected.
- Cost-Effective IP Strategies for Biostartups – Short article describing the options available. On IPWatchdog.com.
- What Start-ups Need to Know About Intellectual Property. Article in National Law Review, September 25, 2018.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) – The federal agency for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks. The website has sections on Patents, Trademarks, Intellectual Property Policy, and Learning and Resources.
Selected USPTO Resources
- Demystifying the Patent System – Toolkit and resources for inventors.
- Inventor and Entrepreneur Resources – Education, training, and special services for independent inventors, small businesses, and university-affiliated inventors from the USPTO Office of Innovation Development.
- Patent Wednesday – Learn about the patent process in these virtual events.
Funding: Government Sources
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Funding
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Funding SBIR/STTR – These seed funds from the NIH and NSF 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.
Key Resources on SBIR/STTR:
- SBIR/STTR Tutorial – Includes Agency Introductions and Solicitations, Finding Topics, Registration Requirements, Patents, and many more topics.
- SBIR/STTR Resources – A comprehensive suite of resources to support small businesses in applying for grants and commercializing their technologies.
- SBIR/STTR Application Process – An infographic that provides a linked overview of registrations, electronic submission, scientific review process, the funding process, commercialization.
- SBIR Funding – With subtopics: Funding Topics and Solicitations
General Services Administration (GSA) Contracts and Support for Small Businesses
GSA: Small Businesses Information on how small businesses can compete for government contracts. Includes information on which Small Disadvantaged Businesses and Women-Owned Businesses may be set aside for special consideration. Businesses that are registered with the SBA and SAM.gov may look for open contract opportunities at Federal Business Opportunities.
National Institute of Health (NIH) Support for Small Businesses
NIH SBIR/STTR – Comprehensive collection of information and resources on the SBIR/STTR program within the NIH
Find Grant Opportunities
Investigate Your Idea’s Fit Within NIH
- 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 – Conduct keyword searches of a particular topic area to identify NIH Institutes or Centers (ICs) that have previously funded research in that area.
- NIH RePorter – Searchable database of NIH funded Look up your topic to find related research that is already funded. Learn what institutions have taken an interest in ideas like yours.
Complete Your Proposal
- Application Guide for SBIR/STTR Grant Applications (SF 424 (R&R) PDF Guide) – Describes in detail how to complete each section of the SBIR/STTR grant application.
- Annotated SF424 SBIR/STTR Form Set – Shows you images of the SBIR/STTR grant proposal forms with descriptions of how to fill out each section.
Assistance with Research Applications for Early Investigators and Under-Represented Groups
- Applicant Assistance Program (AAP) – The AAP helps small businesses write and submit Phase I grant proposals providing coaching and guidance on application needs assessment, preparation, and review. 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. Available at certain NIH institutes. Application deadline for AAP is several months ahead of proposal deadline.
- Early Stage Investigators – This webpage describes the NIH’s policy to support early-stage investigators in obtaining funding to get started with research. For example, the NIH Next Generation Researchers Initiative (NGRI) prioritizes funding for early-stage investigators. The Stephen I. Katz Early Stage Investigator Research Grant Program (news article) for both clinical (policy page) and non-clinical (policy page) studies, can provide funding for you to launch your research. Having preliminary data is not required.
Videos on Starting Small Biotech Businesses – from NHLBI Small Biz Hangout
- Perfecting Your Pitch – YouTubem.youtube.com › watch45:50
- Identifying and Connecting With …m.youtube.com › watch58:54
- Demystifying Small Business …www.youtube.com › watch59:57
- Reimbursement Basics Hangout …www.youtube.com › watch59:27
- Taking Care of … – YouTubewww.youtube.com › watch50:59
- Medical Device Regulation …m.youtube.com › watch58:00
- Product Development Support …www.youtube.com › watch24:17
- 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.
Key NSF Resources
- Funding – This section of the NSF website includes subsections on: Browse funding opportunities, due dates, find funding, merit reviews, policies and procedures, preparing proposals, recent opportunities, programs for small business, and transformative research.
- America’s Seed Fund – SBIR and STTR – Describes these programs and grant opportunities within the NSF
- Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)
- NIH VS. NSF. Primary Differences and Proposal Development Strategies – (Written from a biomedical/bioengineering perspective)
- Project Pitch – For small businesses and startups to request quick feedback on early Phase I funding applications.
NIH Support for Commercialization
The following NIH funding opportunities support commercialization at various stages of the development of your product and business.
NIH Support for Awardees
- Technical and Business Assistance (TABA) provides administrative and general management consulting services to SBIR/STTR awardees in the form of:
- TABA Needs Assessment and report on commercialization areas from a life science industry or technology perspective.
- TABA Funding to achieve identified commercialization needs identified.
- NIH Education Programs on Commercialization
- Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) NIH program that “provides funding, mentoring, and networking opportunities to help commercialize” biomedical technology. The program lasts 8 weeks and is comprised of 24 teams. Intended to support the transition to Phase III.
- Concept to Clinic: Commercialization Innovation (C3i) Program: Mentoring and a curriculum provide business frameworks and tools for early-stage translating biomedical technologies to the clinic market (clinic) and a better understanding of your innovation’s commercial viability.
- NIH Funding and Support Programs on Transitioning to the Marketplace
- Commercial Readiness Program (CRP) is an NIH program that supports the transition from 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.
- Regulatory and Business Development Associates, NIH Innovator Support – A free business resource for small business awardees. A team of entrepreneurs in residence provides assistance with commercialization of your technology and achieving success in the market.
- NIH Partnering and Investment Opportunities
- Company Showcase (In development)
Discontinued NIH Commercialization Support Programs
- Niche Assessment Program (NAPS) was an NIH Program for Phase I awardees to support an understanding of their market. Similar needs are now met by the new TABA Nees Assessment program.
- Commercialization Accelerator Program (CAP) was a 9-month NIH program intended for Phase II/IIb awardees. It provided individualized assistance toward accomplishing key commercialization goals. A program that will address similar needs is in development.
Other NIH and Government Programs Supporting Commercial Development
- National Centers for Accelerated Innovation and 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.”
- 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.
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.
- The Essential Guide to Starting a Business – A good place to start with the SBA
Selected SBA Resources
- Learning center – Multiple courses available
- Writing a business plan
- SBA loans and grants
- Information on government contracts
Video Course: Marketing 101 – SBA
Video Course: Marketing 101 – Defines marketing and describes its role in your business. Offered by SBA. Includes creating a marketing plan, identifying and researching your target market, defining products and services, marketing strategy, social media, measuring success.
Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program)
Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program – One-year funding from NIH to organizations to execute state/regional programs that increase the number of SBIR/STTR proposals leading to an increase in the number of SBIR/STTR awards.
FAST Recipient Organization. Example
First Flight Venture Center, a science and technology incubator in Research Triangle Park, NC was the recipient of a 2019 FAST award, to deepen their grant-readiness support for early-stage companies to developed SBIR/STTR proposals and to include NC under-represented science-focused companies in their grant-writing support (Lift-Off). Read More.
Examples of Successful Women Scientist Entrepreneurs
Inspiration from Successful Women Entrepreneurs
Case Examples of Successful Women Entrepreneurs
- The Top 25 Women Leaders in Biotech of 2019 – A list by The Healthcare Technology Report
- The Next Generation of Women Founders and Entrepreneurs in Biotechnology Is Ready to Disrupt the Biohealth Industry –Describes 6 women from the capital biohealth industry featured in this 2019 article in BioBuzz by Steven Surdez for “building innovative biohealth companies.”
Women with SBIR Phase II Funding in Biological and Biomedical Technology. Examples
Lusinca Camras – Camras Vision SBIR Phase II: Adjustable Eye Pressure Control within an External Shunt
Kristy Hawkins – Antheia Inc. SBIR Phase II: A complete bioprocess for medicinal plant opioids
Gloria Kolb – Elidah, Inc. SBIR Phase II: Novel Treatment for Stress Urinary Incontinence
Kathryn Kosuda – Vaxess Technologies, Inc. SBIR Phase II: A New Approach to Developing a Heat-stable Rotavirus Vaccine
Mara MacDonald – Cytovale Inc. SBIR Phase II: A Cell Analysis Platform for Low-cost, Rapid Diagnosis of Sepsis Using Microfluidic Technologies
Belinda Pastrana – Protein Dynamic Solutions, LLC. SBIR Phase II: Novel, Accurate and Reproducible Platform for the Developability Assessment of Protein Therapeutics
Christine Santos – Manus Biosynthesis Inc. SBIR Phase II: Development of a low-cost production platform through engineered bacteria for a novel natural acaricide.
Videos Stories of Successful Women Entrepreneurs in Biotechnology
- Spinout Journey – Stories of getting started from 5 British entrepreneurs. Talks about passion, inspiration, and what is needed to get more women involved in entrepreneurship.