A friend directed me to an interesting post by Derek Lowe of In the Pipeline about Virtual Biotechnology companies. Are you riding the virtual wave? Check out the blog at this link…
How do you help entrepreneurs succeed? This short list was created after I spent 2 months working in my local community to build a network of entrepreneurs. I am sharing this list with the hope of engaging more people and getting some fresh ideas. Let me know what you think! Thanks, Jean
1) Build a community for them, Connect them to one another and to resource.
2) Use great examples to help them along the way, Inspiring people that I follow on Twitter include Guy Kawasaki, Vivek Wadhwa, Katie Rae, Bill Aulet , Brian Halligan, Robert Buderi, and there are many more. Everyday these people tweet amazing e-ship stories.
3) Celebrate entrepreneurship, This is central to the e-ship mission at MIT. Read more about it here: http://entrepreneurship.mit.edu/main/services
4) Convince them that stealth mode can be death mode, Read this blog post, warning it is harsh: http://upandrunning.bplans.com/2011/02/18/ultimate-advice-to-stealth-mode-startups-just-stop/
5) Remind them it’s all about their team, success and failure are often the result of the strengths of the team. Funding organizations (every type) see great team=great company.
6) Understand the entrepreneurs, Listen and learn from them so you can help them. Not all entrepreneurs are about speed and money, some want a life and a company. Watch this video to learn more: http://boingboing.net/2012/03/19/matt-haughey-on-the-joys-of-in.html
As part of the groundwork for an application to obtain funding for a Southeastern CT hub for entrepreneurs, Artemis Startup Consulting ran a survey. Of the 75 individuals that took the survey, 41 provided contact information for follow up and 15 attended a meeting to discuss the survey results on March 15. Highlights of the survey results that were discussed include the following:
• 89% of respondents would utilize services of an innovation hub
• 33 individuals report being part of a new venture or considering a new venture
• 37 individuals are seeking laboratory or office space
• 20 were commuting to MA, RI, or New Haven for their new ventures
After the survey discussion, I announced that the state had rejected the application for funding for a Southeastern CT hub. The lack of critical mass or scale of entrepreneurship in the region was given as the primary reason.
The discussion at the meeting then shifted to next steps. Those steps include developing a strategy for the next funding opportunity, creating a LinkedIn Group, and organizing networking and educational events. Please invite supporters and entrepreneurs to join the group and stay involved.
I was delighted to attend an AWIS (Association of Women in Science –awis.org) event at the United Nations in NYC on March 7th. At the UN, there is a moving display of artwork by women from across the globe, depicting their causes. The list of causes includes violence, poverty, equal rights, and healthcare. Their artwork tells their stories with striking beauty in counter to the ugly story of female oppression. Celebrate International Women’s Day by doing whatever you can to support women in their fight for rights and equality.
I am preparing to deliver a webinar for the Association of Women in Science (AWIS for more info see awis.org). As the day approaches I am reflecting on what steps I took to leave the lab bench for another career.
In reality the process started several years ago when the pharmaceutical industry started to undergo rapid change. In 2008 I attended a Bioscience Leadership program that was a joint collaboration between Smith College and the Keck Graduate Institute (http://www.kgi.edu/documents/KGISmith.pdf). I got my first glimpse into virtual biotech companies that operated with a staff of less than 10 and executed all operations via service providers. The model was to outsource all but your core competency. Back then, I started to think about my core competencies. What’s unique about me? What do I bring to the table that you can’t get at a contract resource organization? To answer the question, I spent time getting to know myself using tools like the Myers Briggs assessment and asking friends and colleagues for feedback. I also spent time reflecting on my values and writing them down.
Guy Kawasaki said “to make meaning is to increase the quality of life, right a wrong, or prevent the end of something good”.
My advice to anyone who wants to make a career change…get to know your core and you can make meaning in a new role.