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Entrepreneur in Residence

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Entrepreneur in Residence

Postby Nate W. » Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:16 pm

Dear Forum,

After considerable networking, an idea has been presented to me. My former supervisor has put me in touch with a private equity firm. This firm has created several start-up biotechs in the oncology space by IPOs. I presented a scientific idea to the head of the firm that would fit in nicely with his portfolio companies.

He liked the idea. So, he throw out the idea of an entrepreneur in residence position. This would be an independent contractor position. However, I don't know enough about this position to negotiate reasonably about the terms of my employment.

Does anyone have any experience with this type of position in the private sector?

Can anyone suggest articles on the valuation of pre-clinical technology and IPOs in biotechnology?

Feel free to send me an offline email.
Nate W.
 
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Re: Entrepreneur in Residence

Postby Dave Walker » Mon Mar 21, 2016 9:03 am

Hi Nate,

I have seen the job description of "Entrepreneur-in-Residence" more and more lately. This sounds like a perfect time for an informational interview, especially since you have a lead on an offer.

In broad terms, the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence I have known had a mix of both faculty and entrepreneur duties. Most were affiliated with a teaching institution, and had faculty titles, even if non-tenure-track. Also very active in their own businesses or being a VC for the institution. I doubt any were contractors (but I never asked of course!).


Dave
"The single factor that differentiates Nobel laureates from other scientists is training with another Nobel laureate." -- Sol Snyder
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Re: Entrepreneur in Residence

Postby Dick Woodward » Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:39 am

Nate:

I would agree with Dave Walker - this is a great opportunity for some informational interviewing.

I have seen "Entrepreneur in Residence" mean many different things, depending on the context. Sometimes it is an advisor to portfolio companies; sometimes it is with the expectation of running portfolio companies, at least on a temporary basis. In this case, it may mean that they give you work space and a small amount of funding to start up the company for them. In academia, an "Entrepreneur in Residence" typically teaches in an entrepreneurship program and assists students in the development of business plans.

Were I you, I would set up a time for a discussion to find out what their definition of "Entrepreneur in Residence" is.

Best of luck.

Dick
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Re: Entrepreneur in Residence

Postby Nate W. » Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:36 pm

Dear Dick and Dave,

Thanks for your replies. I have exchanged several emails with the CEO and spoken with him once. However, I am bit confused by what the CEO is proposing. Initially, when I contacted him I asked about an IP analyst or associate position, his reply was "send me a resume." Two days later, he replied by saying your background is great and not a problem. He added that we are not adding staff at this moment because "our business model is based upon a low fixed overhead but high upside model. So the folks that work for us have bought into that approach."

Then the email states that we have people that work for us as independent contractors (kind of entrepreneurs in residence) that can profit handsomely when we/they find and close something. If you want to show us some new technology, let me know and we can discuss our criteria.

I do have an idea that I am trying to patent in an effort to gain some patent drafting experience. Why discuss an idea unless it leads to some type of employment? I can't afford to work for free.

Based on a LinkedIn search, there are no entrepreneurs in residence at the firm. They have two managing directors with an engineering or life science expertise. I am wondering if he is trying to feel me out and this is a trial position.

How should I proceed with this? I would like to talk with an entrepreneur in residence at another VC firm first. I have spoken with a VC partner at another firm.

I think this position is similar to a VC analyst position that pays roughly 75-150K (W2 or 1099 employee).
Nate W.
 
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Re: Entrepreneur in Residence

Postby J.B. » Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:34 pm

I would walk away from this position Nate, nothing you said about it sounds good to me.

"Low overhead/high upside" is code for "We expect you to work for free and if your idea brings in money then we'll share the profits with you." I've seen some of these research analyst positions for venture capital firms and none of them use this type of pay scheme, they pay you in actual dollars.

There are firms that employ patent analysts/agents/counsel exclusively, your interests might be better served looking at them. Morrison Foerster is one that comes to mind immediately.
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Re: Entrepreneur in Residence

Postby Nate W. » Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:53 pm

J.B. wrote:I would walk away from this position Nate, nothing you said about it sounds good to me.

"Low overhead/high upside" is code for "We expect you to work for free and if your idea brings in money then we'll share the profits with you." I've seen some of these research analyst positions for venture capital firms and none of them use this type of pay scheme, they pay you in actual dollars.

There are firms that employ patent analysts/agents/counsel exclusively, your interests might be better served looking at them. Morrison Foerster is one that comes to mind immediately.


JB, I am a bit skeptical myself. However, I am going to roll with it. If I am bring them an idea, why work for free. They use a IPO exit strategy to get their carry. However, most biotech IPOs don't result in an immediate appreciation in the stock price until there is at least positive phase III trials and/or an interest of affiliation by an established pharma/biotech suitor (ie Pharmasset deal). You maybe waiting a long time before being paid. The upside is that it provides you with a great network and a potential executive position.

I didn't know Morrison and Foerster was in VC business; thought they did mostly patent prosecution and litigation work. Shoot me an email and we can talk shop offline. Thanks
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