Solving real problems requires commitment and focus. Here’s some advice for scientists willing to become entrepreneurs, six things you should think about before embarking on your journey:
(1) UNDERSTAND BIOTECH ECOSYSTEM/ Be aware of what creates and what destroys value, and understand why VCs prefer good problems to solve, big clinical needs, accelerated regulatory pathways and a big delta in what the drug will do for patients: USE IT TO IMPROVE YOUR POSITIONING
(2) UNDERSTAND YOUR COMPANY/ Ask yourself what open questions still remain unsolved in your field (they’ll lead you to clinical needs), and see the landscape of strategies to solve your particular clinical need: are you competitive enough? STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
(3) FROM SOLOIST TO ORCHESTRA/ Find the right CEO (maybe yourself, but some other times someone else more experienced) and the right team that will make it possible… At first the team will be small but always bear in mind entrepreneurship is not an individual game
(4) CONTACT YOUR TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER OFFICE (research center, hospital…) or alternatively experts and consultants to think carefully about the whole process, the intellectual property, some initial understanding of the regulatory pathway, license negotiations to spin out, etc.
(5) FINE TUNE PoC/ Find your WOW slide, the experimental setting and results that will convince everyone that this is worth doing and that your way of solving the problem actually works… You’ll probably need to further improve it after visiting VCs, yes, but always aim for top quality experiments
(6) FUNDRAISE / Go find capital (non-dilutive from grants first, if possible), understand how VCs will analyze your project and try to capture their attention. The process iterates non-stop, go back to (1) to further understand your sector and start again to perfect your pitch