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From Bench to Business is all about bridging the gap between the science world and the business world. I give hints about how to start your own biotech business, highlight new and emerging biotech companies and products, as well as how larger companies are affecting the biotech world.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Views: 4450 | Comments: 3
Last by Holly on Aug 25, 2010, 11:42pm
After one of my previous posts, there were a lot of questions/comments that involved funding so I decided to write a two post follow up. This will focus on how/where to look for funding. The next will focus on angel investors that focus on funding biotech companies.

In no particular order:

1. Your Rich Uncle: So many people have mixed feelings on having your wealthy family/friends invest in your company. I have heard entrepreneurs say things like: "Hey whatever helps it get off the ground." If you want to choose this option, then it is completely up to you. Do so with caution. If you go this route you have to be prepared that the relationship you have can go down the tubes. Even if it doesn't go down the tubes, in the event that your business fails you may have undue guilt towards your friend/family member. This is completely a : DO AT YOUR OWN RISK option.

2. Bank Loans (Typically SBA): This is very traditional option. The SBA association will guarantee your loan to the bank. To qualify you usually need to have a business plan, and other information about you personally. It's a great option, especially if you haven't nabbed any other grants or investors.

3. SBIR- Known as Small Business Innovation Research. The NIH also gives grants to . . . More
Views: 421 | Comments: 2
Last by Holly on Aug 23, 2010, 9:16am
Fantastic, Amazing, Life Changing new products/services are being imagined and developed all the time to help enhance research. Sometimes it is hard for us to know what is out there. Which is why I am starting a mini-segment on my blog called, "The Latest and Greatest." I will be highlighting interesting products/services that might help out your research.

If you know of something revolutionary and want me to consider it for a piece then feel free to contact me though labspaces.

I know it is a HUGE deal for anyone to post anything with bias, and I recognize that being in the industry I may have some of those. So I have decided to create a small key so that you can see where my possible bias lies:

*Have not personally tried
(If this is the case then it is likely that I heard about it through colleagues in the industry and am listening to how they say their product service works. I am also willing in these cases to write a follow up if a reader has personally tried out the product and has an opinion on it. Please contact me though labspaces to do so.)

(This means that I have some sort of relationship with the product that I am writing about. It could be that one of my customers is selling the product or that I have a personal in . . . More
Views: 572 | Comments: 0
So, you have a great idea, and a great business plan, now what? First step you you can take is to become an LLC and fill out all the necessary paperwork. I have had to do this myself for a previous companies new branch, and the task seemed daunting. Where do you get this information? Who do you talk to? How do you set it up?

If you undertake this task yourself, it is going to take you an inane amount of time. It could delay you starting your business and derail your focus completely. The best way for you to go about this is to: OUTSOURCE, OUTSOURCE, OUTSOURCE.

The cost? The fees you already would have to file anyways plus a small additional fee on top. In some cases it can cost you less than the hourly fee of an attorney.

Example company to help you get set up:

If you aren't convinced you should form an LLC or Inc. You might still consider it because:
An LLC or Inc. Business comes off as more credible than a business that is not. Sure you may be running this operation out of your home, but if it has those letters tacked onto the end of the name, it brings instant credibility.

It also brings other benefits . . . More
Views: 1410 | Comments: 3
Last by Holly on Aug 11, 2010, 7:36pm
The idea of becoming an entrepreneur is intoxicating. You get to pick your own hours, you are your own boss, you get to create things that didn't exist before. For us in the biotech field, it's doubly intoxicating. When we start our own business, we are doing things like curing cancer, creating things that enhance science and research, or educating the world. These are all causes that the average person would love to dedicate their lives to.

If you are thinking about creating your own bio-business, I am definitely not going to lecture you on the basics about starting your own business. Anyone who has gone through graduate school knows what it is like to work 'till 2 am and have to work weekends. You also know what it is like to have your mind completely engulfed by an idea, and how to continuously build and create upon it. Don't worry, you have already proven you can live and work in this environment. Beyond that, here are four questions you should ask yourself before you start your new business.

1. FAILURE- Can you handle it if your business fails? Sounds simple enough, you work in science, and you have experiments that fail all the time. I am not talking about handling little failures, I am asking how you would react to something you worked for a year on, for 14 . . . More
Views: 685 | Comments: 6
Last by Holly on Aug 11, 2010, 7:50pm
I used to think I would spend my life at the bench doing research. After all, my family is filled with scientists. Whenever I would talk about moving over to the business side, my family would always reply "Why? What on earth would you want to do that for?" I never really had a response. A great mentor of mine gave me a great response, "Because I love it."

Much like my family, scientists as a whole seem to place a stigma on incorporating business and science. Almost as if to say, "If you can make a profit off of it, then it simply isn't pure science." If you want evidence of this, look no further than the fiasco going on over at ScienceBlogs. An advertorial, (albeit not appropriately labeled) has caused such an outrage that there has been a mass exodus of the bloggers from the site. ScienceBlogs has taken down the advertorial, but the drama ensues.

On the flip side, I meet with scientists on a daily basis, and many have great ideas that they are dying to share with the world. Sure they want to make money off their great idea, but when you see the look on their faces when they talk, you know it isn't about the money. Most I see get hung up on either the stigma, or because they simply don't know where to start.

I am dedicated to bringing practical tips to th . . . More