What does it take, REALLY, to start a biotech company?

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What does it take, REALLY, to start a biotech company?

Postby Phillip » Thu Feb 17, 2005 10:47 pm

I know it takes a lot of money, and a good idea.

I know it takes a smart, savvy entrepreneur and a lot of drive and ambition.

But what if you've only got two of the three? Will the money follow? What does it REALLY take to start a biotech company?


What does it take, REALLY, to start a biotech company?

Postby AL » Fri Feb 18, 2005 3:23 am

It also takes solid intellectual property rights to that good idea - patent protection.

What does it take, REALLY, to start a biotech company?

Postby Kevin Foley » Fri Feb 18, 2005 7:32 am

Have a look at the "Entrepreneur's Guide to a Biotech Startup".

Incidently, it is authored by one of the founders of Boston's "BiotechTuesday", which I just posted about.

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What does it take, REALLY, to start a biotech company?

Postby Don » Fri Feb 18, 2005 7:55 am

The single biggest problem is good management. You will find it is more often the case that money flows into companies that have great management rather than great science and data (I know of quite a few companies with the latter but not the former who have been unable to find money at reasonable terms if at all).

Great management will make certain a company succeeds if the science happens to go bad or go more slowly than predicted (which it always does). Take for example MLNM - they raised a huge amount of money around the genomics idea. When that avenue proved more slow than they anticipated, they used that pile of cash to buy a small molecule company which has produced drugs that have carried them as far as they are now (incidentally, I do think they have some real problems now - but that is a different subject).

My advice: take your idea and your passion, team up with several people who have really succeeded in the biotech game (there are very few of them around, so be wary of posers) and start the next great success story.



What does it take, REALLY, to start a biotech company?

Postby Lora » Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:54 am

A marketing genius. No, really.

True story: I used to work for a medical device company that branched out into various similar fields. It started out as a tiny garage company from one guy's brilliant idea. The teeny-tiny garage company had been going begging for investors, and a financial advisor/marketing genius who was scouting for a venture capitalist happened across the company while visiting his family. When Mr. Financial Advisor found the company, they had told everyone to bring their own pens and paper to work, and 15 employees had to share a single IBM 386. A year later, Mr. Financial Advisor was the company president, and everyone had their own computers, fancy gel pens, and they had oodles of customers knocking down the door to buy their products. Five years later, they bought the original entrepreneur's ex-employer for a song. Mr. Financial Advisor, a diabolically good marketer and capital-raiser, now races yachts around Australia, I'm told.

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