by Craig Shimasaki
        Starting a biotechnology company can be invigorating, exciting and frightening all at the same time.  Where will I find the money?  How can I compete for world-class employees?  What about lab space? I have never written a business plan before! These are a few of the myriad of issues a biotech entrepreneur must wrestle with in order to see the success envisioned by developing a life-saving product or service.  If you are a first-time entrepreneur in the biotech industry, do not be disheartened. 

The industry did not exist much more than 30 years ago, and because the development phase of these products can take as long as 15 years— there are not a lot of serial entrepreneurs in this industry yet.  Even these individuals had to learn as they grew their companies. Thankfully, now there are some good advisors and helps for the entrepreneur, and the best advice for the first-time entrepreneur is to read as much as possible about the process and issues you may encounter before starting your company.  Learn from those who have started biotechnology companies before; they will show you many things you can do to avoid the potential pitfalls that they have experienced.  Whether you are a first time entrepreneur or a seasoned biotechnology executive, read the interviews of biotech industry players of Genentech, Amgen, CETUS, and Chiron found at the UC Berkley's Oral History website and you will gain insight from their personal experiences.  If you are a professor or scientist in an academic or research institute, approach this process as you would any experiment— by steadily building upon knowledge gained from previous inquiries. 

This website is devoted to being an ever-expanding source of helps for the entrepreneur and team.   Consider the words of Louis Pasteur, the inventor and chemist who developed the first vaccine for rabies, “Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity.”

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