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Starting my own biotech business

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Starting my own biotech business

Postby Beth Anne » Tue Oct 19, 2004 10:58 am

I'm a senior scientist right now in a government laboratory, and through the last couple of years I've been wondering about an idea that I have. The concept seems quite elegant, and I've done a lot of the research that proves it is unique and that it could be accomplished at reasonably low costs (compared to the cost of developing a therapeutic drug).

I'm wondering, now that I have this concept and some very early work done, how do I go about writing a business plan and getting it funded? This seems to me to be the time to look for partners. I've got no business background, and I would need some help in that department, either by a consultant or a person who feels (like me) that this is a viable idea.

Any thoughts?

Thanks, Beth Anne
Beth Anne
 

Starting my own biotech business

Postby Dave Jensen » Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:22 am

Beth Anne,

I'm just running out the door, so I'll shoot you a brief response now and check back later. I'm sure we'll have some other posters to help you with this one.

First off, on this forum you'll have the chance to make your email address "live." This doesn't mean that you are showing your address and leaving it open for spammers. It simply means that your email address in the field above will be a "hot link" -- see mine on this post. That means that a person who reads your interesting note can simply click on your name to write you directly. The reason I mention this is that I believe you missed a good opportunity to get some direct, personal feedback -- you should have posted with a live email address for networking purposes.

My guess is that you should be able to find a person who, like yourself, has an entrepreneurial streak and who is strong on the areas that you are weak on. See my post later today about "Life Sciences Business Schools" . . . Perhaps you can approach someone in these programs. I know that schools like Keck Graduate Institute of Life Sciences (west coast) often have students work on business plans for young companies. Perhaps that is one approach that might work.

Becoming an entrepreneur, however, will really be a big move for a person earning a government paycheck. Have you thought through all the ramifications and the extent of the "salesmanship" required to launch a business?

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Starting my own biotech business

Postby Beth Anne » Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:35 am

Dave,

i am not ready yet to solicit interest. Thank you for the help and I'd sure appreciate other people's coments. My email is blank because my advisor does not yet know that I am considering this option,

Beth Anne
Beth Anne
 

Starting my own biotech business

Postby Dave Jensen » Tue Oct 19, 2004 4:08 pm

Beth Anne,

Contact me directly via email link on this site and I will suggest some personal contacts for you at Keck,

Dave
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Starting my own biotech business

Postby Andy » Thu Oct 21, 2004 7:58 pm

Beth Anne,

Have you filed patents related to this work? That is one of the first considerations in starting a new company. No one will fund you if you don't have adequate intellectual property protection.

Consider talking to your advisor about it. At almost every research organization, company, and university, you sign an agreement upon employment stating that any work you do there falls under the patent umbrella of that organization. I'm not saying you won't be an inventor and free to pursue the intellectual property. What I'm saying is to talk with your boss about it. If the work was done in his/her lab, then he will be an inventor as well. I'm not sure what the rules are at the NIH.

If you are free and clear to use the intellectual property by yourself, then decide how serious you are. If you're serious, hire a lawyer to file the patent for you (if you haven't already). Learn about SBIR grants through the NIH website. Depending on what your technology is, venture capitalists may be interested if you have the necessary legal protections.

I'd love to hear more about your work. I'm not a lawyer, just a curious scientist who has had thoughts similar to yours in terms of starting a company.

Cheers,

Andy
Andy
 

Starting my own biotech business

Postby John L. » Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:41 pm

It seems to me that USA labs should be like those in Sweden and other countries, where the person that invents something is capable of taking that technology and commercializing it on their own. Sweden has had great success with small company startups as a result of this. On the flip side, though, the taxpayer isn't getting any real value out of the monies spent on these institutions.

Plenty of people have left the NIH, Beth Anne, and started companies.

jl
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