Monday, August 31, 2009

Starting Ingredients

I attended an excellent panel discussion last week organized by the American Chemical Society in which three CEOs of biotech start-ups shared their experiences of establishing new companies.

The three key ingredients to a successful start-up are: great science / intellectual property, experienced people and of course, financial backing. Each company had started out with a different one of these three ingredients, and then sought out the the other two.

Food for thought - in today's world, new companies build a core team as soon as funding is first received, almost always with former coworkers whose experience and capabilities are a known quantity. As product development progresses, these companies plan on using expert consultants and outsourcing to handle specialized, but non-core activities, rather than hiring and building these capabilities in-house.

Main take-away: if you are interested in joining a start-up company the best place to start is re-establishing contact with former coworkers and those who know what you can do. The evening finished on a very upbeat note, encouraging entrepreneurs to take courage and take the plunge now, at a time where start up costs, rents and used equipment are low, and dream teams are ready, willing and available.

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