By Mariam Giorgadze and Thomas Galassi
Although the challenges that face biotech start-ups vary greatly depending on the nature of a company’s technology, there are a set of generalized “best practices” that entrepreneurs can learn from to increase their odds for success. Many of these practices form the foundation of the “Lean Lanchpad” program, which has seen 60% of its life science companies find seed funding to launch their start-ups. Below are some lessons that can be learned from this highly successful program:
Work with your target consumer
Today, when consumers in every industry are so sophisticated and have access to so much information or solution providers, no product or service can be pushed. Therefore, start-ups should focus on building their product while infusing the real feedback from their target consumer. For many life science start-ups this may involve working with doctors or hospital administrators to learn about any practical issues that may arise, even if the product being pushed is scientifically sound.
Prototyping and Iteration
Frequently, inventors spend a lot of time perfecting a solution in the lab without ever receiving feedback from their target audience. It’s crucial to not assume that the target audience will accept a solution, even if the issue being solved is completely understood from a scientific point of view. This is true whether the target audience is doctors, patients, or hospital administrators. Getting feedback early on in the design process can prevent major sunk costs for a company down the road.
Understand your business model
Designing a world changing invention is not enough to launch a successful company; it is only the first step. No matter how useful a technology is, a company must understand its target consumer, market opportunity, revenue model, and potential partnerships to be a success. All of these will form the core of a company’s business model. To learn more about business model generation click here.
While there is no way to guarantee the success of any start-up, following the advice above is a great way to maximize the chance of success. By following these “best practices” a company can begin to show investors that they know what it takes to bring their product to market, which can potentially lead to seed funding and be the difference between a successful or failed company.
To learn more tips on how to maximize a biotech start-up’s chance of success attend the BBI lecture series which begins with a kick-off event September 13.