After spending months performing research, talking to your colleagues, and developing your work, you might think you are ready to take your research to the next level by creating a biotech company. You want to make an impact on the world and share what you have developed, but you didn’t go to business school and have no idea how to start a biotech company.
Though the road to becoming the owner of a successful biotech company may be long and bumpy, the only thing that will ensure the failure of your idea is to go in blind.
Successful biotech companies are founded on ideas but become successes due to hard work and diligence on the part of the founders. You absolutely do not need to have a degree in business to create a successful biotech company, but you will need to dedicate your time and energy to follow the appropriate steps.
Here, we will cover a few of the necessary components of starting your own biotech company so you can go forth confidently and share your ideas with the world.
Central to any good biotech startup is an excellent idea, but just because you like the idea doesn’t mean the market will. Before you invest any money or time into your biotech company, do your research to determine whether there is a need for your product.
Not sure whether your idea is a viable one? Try answering this: What problem(s) are you solving with your product? Does your product fill a hole in the market?
Even the possibility of garnering interest from a niche market is a good sign for the success of your biotech company, but keep in mind that a smaller market will mean fewer opportunities for funding. Additionally, consider what it will cost to get your project off the ground.
Your idea may be better than what is currently on the market, but if it costs 40x more to make, your chances of success are slim.
Next, secure your ideas by obtaining intellectual property rights to your product. You may have come up with the next big thing in biotech, but if you don’t secure a patent or some other type of IP, you’ll have a much more difficult time garnering support or funding.
As you begin the process of filing for IP, consider consulting with a legal team to ensure you are protecting every aspect of your idea as broadly as possible.
No business has become a success based on the sole efforts of one individual, and yours won’t either. Create a well-rounded team by finding like-minded individuals with complementary skills.
Look for a combination of experience and enthusiasm, and you’ll be well on your way. Gather individuals with strong entrepreneurial and business backgrounds and find fellow academics with interest or experience in fields relating to your work.
If you are creating a new drug, you should have someone on your team with pharmacology experience. If you are developing a medical device, you should have an engineer on your team.
Bringing on co-founders and gathering a team will not only help you develop a well-rounded company but will also prove to investors that you are dedicated and capable. As you build your team, keep in mind that not all interested individuals should be co-founders or be given an equal share.
Choose your team carefully by considering their commitment to the success and future of the company as well as the particular skill set they have to offer.
No matter how good your idea is, you won’t get it off the ground without financial backing. Money is one thing no startup will ever have enough of, and you should be prepared to search high and low for possible financial opportunities.
Research federal grants, contact investors and investment groups, explore venture capital foundations, and create crowdfunding campaigns. Before and during this process, make sure you have a good handle on what your general expenses will be, between purchasing necessary biological materials, licensing, and lab benches.
If you have gathered an excellent team, this will be the time for them to shine. Investors will be far more likely to show interest in your biotech startup if you and members of your team have experience in the markets or industries you are targeting.
Investors will want to determine whether your product is better than what is already on the market, be prepared to discuss the ins and outs of your company and to answer plenty of questions.
Your best bet for receiving funding is to do your research before ever approaching an investor. Knowing the spaces and industries in which investors typically participate will increase your chances, and knowing the types of companies and projects they favor will help you tailor your marketing.
As you prepare to approach investors, be sure to take note of how exactly you intend to spend the money; investors will want to know it is going to capable hands.
No matter where you receive your funding, be lean in your first few years as a startup. No startup has ever had a surplus of money, and more often than not, companies find themselves consistently scrambling for funds.
In your first few years, take advantage of money-saving measures. Purchase used equipment, operate your business virtually, and avoid over-hiring – you’re going to need every last penny you have.
Looking to build a lab or two for your new biotech? Contact us for lab design and construction services.