Pioneers discuss biotech startup funding and how to generate it
While a novel idea is a great starting point for almost any business, it is rarely enough to sustain and turn it into something that will stand the test of time. For that to happen, many things are required: a strong management and leadership team, a solid marketing plan, a clear need as defined by the market itself, and of course, startup capital. Without initial cash, scaling up an operation from a concept to a full-scale company is exceptionally difficult. Attempting to do that in as capital-intensive a business segment as biotechnology would be next to impossible.
To ease the startup journey and help prospective founders on their way to blazing new trails in biotechnology, here are some helpful tips from top biotech entrepreneurs on how to generate biotech startup funding.
Craig Shimasaki and some non-negotiables for all biotech startups
Dr. Craig Shimasaki has almost four decades of experience as the founder and CEO of investment firm Biosource Consulting. In this article on the seven steps every biotech firm should take when building their enterprise, he includes the importance of identifying a clear market need and the designation of key personnel in leadership positions as crucial starting points for any biotech firm.
In identifying a need, Shimasaki recognizes that not every great idea results in a product with a market. Therefore, founders must ensure that a demand exists for their conceptualized product; otherwise, it will likely languish and have a hard time driving investor interest.
Meanwhile, creating a strong leadership team that will drive the company's growth will put it in the best position for success. Shimasaki advises discretion at this point, saying that not all interested individuals should be founders and that founders should be invested in the company's welfare, even beyond any capital they might be required to put in.
Khoa Nguyen on investor recruitment strategies for biotech firms
Dr. Khoa Nguyen is an immunologist with more than 15 years of biotechnology entrepreneurship experience. His company, Tranquis Therapeutics, raised more than $30 million in Series A funding.
In this article on strategies that startup founders can use to generate seed funding for their enterprise, he recognizes that personal pitches directed to potential investors in one's own personal or professional network are still some of the most powerful tools in a founder's toolbox for generating seed capital. He also advises that biotech founders ought to have an elevator pitch in place even before approaching potential investors. This will provide investors with a quick overview of the firm's objectives, potential products or technology applications, and further interests without going into too much detail.
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